Women use more of their brains than men when it comes to driving a car, using a computer mouse or performing other visually guided actions, says a new study that suggests stroke victims should have different rehabilitation programs depending on their gender.
The way your brain “fires” in the split second before doing tasks that require eye-hand co-ordination depends on whether you’re a man or a woman, says Lauren Sergio, a York University professor and co-author of the study.
The study found that for females, areas in both the left and right sides of the brain were active during eye-hand co-ordination experiments. That occurred for men only when they were planning their most complex task: moving a cursor on a screen in the opposite direction to the one expected, using a joystick.
“We found that in females, there were three major brain areas involved in visually guided movement and they showed activity on both sides of the brain in most of the exercises in the study,” Sergio said in an interview.
“In contrast, male brains lit up on both sides only for the most complex exercise.”
The findings, published in February in the European Journal of Neuroscience, could have implications for the way stroke victims are rehabilitated, said Sergio, a kinesiologist who studies body movements.