By Mark Salamon, September 1, 2017
A new study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease has confirmed something that I have known for some time, that women have greater brain activity than men in many different areas of the brain. (1) (2) I live with my wife and three daughters, so I know that any man out there in similar circumstances will agree with me that this result is old news.
Dr. Daniel G. Amen and his colleagues used brain scans to measure brain activity in 128 different regions of the brain both at rest and during a task involving concentration. Results showed that at rest, women showed activity in 65 regions of the brain, compared to 9 for men (yea, that sounds about right). During concentration activities, women fired up 113 brain regions, compared to 31 for men. (These numbers are making me concentrate harder, so now I am able to definitively say, yea, that sounds about right.)
If you do the math, this explains a lot about the dynamics of my family. For example, when we are all just sitting around doing nothing, my 9 active brain regions are pathetically inadequate for tasks such as predicting what unexpected flurry of activity might suddenly erupt from the combined 260 brain regions which are humming all around me.
And this is at rest. Even if I were miraculously able to kick in full concentration at a moment’s notice, my max of 31 brain regions would still be woefully inadequate to deal with even just one of the high-idling female brains I am surrounded by. And if all four of them ramp up to full concentration, I’m up against a staggering 452 brain regions. I mean, I knew I was outnumbered, but I am literally defenseless.
And for all you guys out there laughing because you have only sons, let me lay a little more math on you. Let’s look at the reverse of my situation: a family with one mother, one father, and three sons. If you morons think you actually outnumber your mother, you are living in fantasyland. When you are all lying around, the four guys have a combined 36 brain regions activated, still not nearly enough to compete with the one female’s 65. With the female brain idling at this higher RPM, it is nothing for her to go from 65 to 113 in no time. It would take every male member of your family to coordinate a simultaneous thrust into full concentration to overtake this number, something I think we all realize has not ever happened in human history.
The purpose of comparative studies like this is to try to find out why women are more likely than men to have things like Alzheimer’s and depression, where men are more likely to have conditions such as autism and ADHD. I think the bigger mystery we should try to solve is why so many men think they are smarter than women.