Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Mars and Venus

There's a fascinating article in this month's issue of Scientific American
(available here: http://tinyurl.com/7cs6r) about the differences between male and female brains. In the article's own words, "...over the past decade investigators have documented an astonishing array of structural, chemical and functional variations in the brains of males and females."

Like we all didn't know that.

The article is a general survey of those differences, and it makes for terrific reading. Here's one excerpt:
Baron-Cohen and his students went a step further. They took their video camera to a maternity ward to examine the preferences of babies that were only one day old. The infants saw either the friendly face of a live female student or a mobile that matched the color, size and shape of the student's face and included a scrambled mix of her facial features. To avoid any bias, the experimenters were unaware of each baby's sex during testing. When they watched the tapes, they found that the girls spent more time looking at the student, whereas the boys spent more time looking at the mechanical object. This difference in social interest was evident on day one of life--implying again that we come out of the womb with some cognitive sex differences built in.

All right, since you're all going to e-mail me if I don't mention this--I know that it matters if the female was hot or not. I know the experimental setup should have included both a hot chick and a non-hot chick, along with a mechanical object, to obtain accurate results for the boys.

Check out the link if you're interested. It's excellent.

Site Meter