A headline story this morning, featured in several news outlets, reported on a new study published online in PNAS yesterday that allegedly confirms that there are major brain differences between men and women. In the study Ragini Verma, an associate professor in the Department of Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues examined the neural connectivity across the whole brain in 949 individuals (521 females and 428 males) aged 8 to 22 years using diffuse tensor imaging (DTI).
The researchers found that in certain age groups, females had greater inter-hemispheric connectivity in the supratentorial region (the part of the brain above the cerebellum), whereas males exhibited greater intra-hemispheric connectivity as well as greater interhemispheric connectivity in the cerebellum. The cerebellum has been implicated in certain forms of knowledge of action and knowledge-how, interhemispheric connectivity seems crucial for many social skills, and intrahemispheric connectivity in local sensory regions may lead to richer perceptual experiences. So, on the basis of these findings, many news reports concluded that men have a greater perception to action potential, whereas women have a greater potential for communicating and connecting “the analytical and intuition.” Some concluded that gender differences in brain connectivity are hard-wired.