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The human brain is the command center for the human nervous system. It receives
input from the sensory organs and sends output to the muscles. The human brain
has the same basic structure as other mammal brains, but is larger in relation to
body size than any other brains.

Facts about the human brain

The human brain is the largest brain of all vertebrates relative to
body size
It weighs about 3.3 lbs. (1.5 kilograms)
The brain makes up about 2 percent of a human's body weight
The cerebrum makes up 85 percent of the brain's weight
It contains about 86 billion nerve cells (neurons) the "gray
It contains billions of nerve fibers (axons and dendrites) the
"white matter"
These neurons are connected by trillions of connections, or

Anatomy of the human brain

The largest part of the human brain is the cerebrum, which is divided into two
hemispheres. Underneath lies the brainstem, and behind that sits the cerebellum.
The outermost layer of the cerebrum is the cerebral cortex, which consists of four
lobes: the frontal lobe, the parietal lobe, the temporal lobe and the occipital lobe.
[Related: Nervous System: Facts, Functions & Diseases]

Like all vertebrate brains, the human brain develops from three sections known as
the forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain. Each of these contains fluid-filled cavities
called ventricles. The forebrain develops into the cerebrum and underlying
structures; the midbrain becomes part of the brainstem; and the hindbrain gives rise
to regions of the brainstem and the cerebellum.
he cerebral cortex is greatly enlarged in human brains, and is considered the seat of
complex thought. Visual processing takes place in the occipital lobe, near the back of
the skull. The temporal lobe processes sound and language, and includes the
hippocampus and amygdala, which play roles in memory and emotion, respectively.
The parietal lobe integrates input from different senses and is important for spatial
orientation and navigation.

The brainstem connects to the spinal cord and consists of the medulla oblongata,
pons and midbrain. The primary functions of the brainstem include: relaying
information between the brain and the body; supplying some of the cranial nerves to
the face and head; and performing critical functions in controlling the heart,
breathing and consciousness.

Between the cerebrum and brainstem lie the thalamus and hypothalamus. The
thalamus relays sensory and motor signals to the cortex and is involved in regulating
consciousness, sleep and alertness. The hypothalamus connects the nervous
system to the endocrine system where hormones are produced via the
pituitary gland.

The cerebellum lies beneath the cerebrum and has important functions in motor
control. It plays a role in coordination and balance, and may also have some
cognitive functions.

Humans vs. other animals

The main differences between human and animals brains is their size, said Eric
Holland, a neurosurgeon and cancer biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer
Research Center and the University of Washington, in Seattle. Humans also have
more neurons per unit volume than other animals, and the only way to do that with
the brain's layered structure is to make folds in the outer layer, or cortex, Holland told
Live Science.

"The more complicated a brain gets, the more gyri and sulci, or wiggly hills and
valleys, it has," Holland said. Other intelligent animals, such as monkeys and
dolphins, also have these folds in their cortex, whereas mice have smooth brains, he

Humans also have the largest frontal lobes of any animal, Holland said. The frontal
lobes are associated with higher-level functions such as self-control, planning, logic
and abstract thought basically, "the things that make us particularly human," he

Left brain vs. right brain

The human brain is divided into two hemispheres, the left and right, connected by a
bundle of nerve fibers called the corpus callosum. The hemispheres are strongly,
though not entirely, symmetrical. The left brain controls all the muscles on the right-
hand side of the body; and the right brain controls the left side. One hemisphere may
be slightly dominant, as with left- or right-handedness.

The popular notions about "left brain" and "right brain" qualities are generalizations
that are not well supported by evidence. Still, there are some important differences
between these areas. The left brain contains regions involved in speech and
language (Broca's area and Wernicke's area), and is also associated with
mathematical calculation and fact retrieval, Holland said. The right brain plays a role
in visual and auditory processing, spatial skills and artistic ability more instinctive
or creative things, Holland said though these functions involve both hemispheres.
"Everyone uses both halves all the time," he said.

Its no secret that boys and girls are differentvery different. The differences
between genders, however, extend beyond what the eye can see. Research reveals
major distinguishers between male and female brains.

Scientists generally study four primary areas of difference in male and female brains:
processing, chemistry, structure, and activity. The differences between male and
female brains in these areas show up all over the world, but scientists also have
discovered exceptions to every so-called gender rule. You may know some boys who
are very sensitive, immensely talkative about feelings, and just generally dont seem
to fit the boy way of doing things. As with all gender differences, no one way of
doing things is better or worse. The differences listed below are simply generalized
differences in typical brain functioning, and it is important to remember that all
differences have advantages and disadvantages.


Male brains utilize nearly seven times more gray matter for activity while female
brains utilize nearly ten times more white matter. What does this mean?

Gray matter areas of the brain are localized. They are information- and action-
processing centers in specific splotches in a specific area of the brain. This can
translate to a kind of tunnel vision when they are doing something. Once they are
deeply engaged in a task or game, they may not demonstrate much sensitivity to
other people or their surroundings.

White matter is the networking grid that connects the brains gray matter and other
processing centers with one another. This profound brain-processing difference is
probably one reason you may have noticed that girls tend to more quickly transition
between tasks than boys do. The gray-white matter difference may explain why, in
adulthood, females are great multi-taskers, while men excel in highly task-focused

Male and female brains process the same neurochemicals but to different degrees
and through gender-specific body-brain connections. Some dominant
neurochemicals are serotonin, which, among other things, helps us sit
still; testosterone, our sex and aggression chemical; estrogen, a female growth and
reproductive chemical; and oxytocin, a bonding-relationship chemical.

In part, because of differences in processing these chemicals, males on average

tend to be less inclined to sit still for as long as females and tend to be more
physically impulsiveand aggressive. Additionally, males process less of the bonding
chemical oxytocin than females. Overall, a major takeaway of chemistry differences
is to realize that our boys at times need different strategies for stress release than
our girls.

Structural Differences

A number of structural elements in the human brain differ between males and
females. Structural refers to actual parts of the brain and the way they are built,
including their size and/or mass.

Females often have a larger hippocampus, our human memory center. Females also
often have a higher density of neural connections into the hippocampus. As a result,
girls and women tend to input or absorb more sensorial and emotive information than
males do. By sensorial we mean information to and from all five senses. If you note
your observations over the next months of boys and girls and women and men, you
will find that females tend to sense a lot more of what is going on around them
throughout the day, and they retain that sensorial information more than men.

Additionally, before boys or girls are born, their brains developed with different
hemispheric divisions of labor. The right and left hemispheres of the male and female
brains are not set up exactly the same way. For instance, females tend to have
verbal centers on both sides of the brain, while males tend to have verbal centers on
only the left hemisphere. This is a significant difference. Girls tend to use more words
when discussing or describing incidence, story, person, object, feeling, or place.
Males not only have fewer verbal centers in general but also, often, have less
connectivity between their word centers and their memories or feelings. When it
comes to discussing feelings and emotions and senses together, girls tend to have
an advantage, and they tend to have more interest in talking about these things.

Blood Flow and Brain Activity

While we are on the subject of emotional processing, another difference worth

looking closely at is the activity difference between male and female brains. The
female brain, in part thanks to far more natural blood flow throughout the brain at any
given moment (more white matter processing), and because of a higher degree of
blood flow in a concentrationpart of the brain called the cingulate gyrus, will often
ruminate on and revisit emotional memories more than the male brain.
Males, in general, are designed a bit differently. Males tend, after reflecting more
briefly on an emotive memory, to analyze it somewhat, then move onto the next task.
During this process, they may also choose to change course and do something
active and unrelated to feelings rather than analyze their feelings at all. Thus,
observers may mistakenly believe that boys avoid feelings in comparison to girls or
move to problem-solving too quickly.

These four, natural design differences listed above are just a sample of how males
and females think differently. Scientists have discovered approximately 100 gender
differences in the brain, and the importance of these differences cannot be
overstated. Understandinggender differences from a neurological perspective not
only opens the door to greater appreciation of the different genders, it also calls into
Are Male and Female Brains Different?
By Lisa Collier Cool

Of course, there's isn't a simple answer to that question.

While some brain features are more common in one sex

than the other, and some are typically found in both, most
people have a unique mix.

Research has found some key differences that could explain

why we expect males and females to think and behave in
characteristic ways.

But even if the physical brain doesn't change, how it works

Most Brains Are Both

A 2015 study at Tel Aviv University used an interesting and

very thorough approach to compare the structure of male
and female brains. Researchers looked at MRI scans of more
than 1,400 people.

First, they measured the amount and location of gray matter

(sometimes called "thinking matter") in 116 parts of
the brain to find out which areas had the biggest sex
differences. Next, the team scored these areas on each scan
as either falling into the "female-end" zone, the "male-end"
zone, or somewhere in the middle.

It turned out that maybe 6 in every 100 of the brains they

studied were consistently a single sex. Many others had a
patchwork quilt of masculine and feminine features that
varied widely from person to person.

To check their findings, the team used similar methods to

analyze more than 5,500 people's personality traits and
behavior. While some activities were more common in
women (including scrapbooking, chatting on the phone, and
keeping in touch with mom) and others in men (such as
golfing, playing video games, and gambling), 98% of those
studied didn't fit a clear-cut gender profile.

Overall, the findings suggest that "human brains do not

belong to one of two distinct categories."
'Brain Road Maps' Reveal Differences

While the MRI research mainly focused on brain structures,

another scientist has been exploring the nerve pathways
that link them, like a highway system for the brain's traffic.

We know that hormones influence brain development in the

womb, yet before age 13, boys' and girls' mental circuitry
appears similar. During puberty, hormones may again have
a powerful effect and contribute to rewriting the teen brain.
question how we parent, educate, and support our children from a young age.
1. Women are the only ones in their
right minds.
Studies show that men mostly use their brains left
hemisphere to process information, while women are
more skilled at using both hemispheres. This would
literally mean that women are the only ones in their
right minds!

2. Males have bigger brainswhich

doesnt mean theyre smarter. Duh!
On average, guy brains are about 10 percent larger than
gal brains. But this is probably because on average, guys
are 10 percent larger than gals. Although males tend to
do slightly better in math while females do slightly
better with language, standardized intelligence tests
show no statistically significant difference between
males and females.

3. The male brain is geared slightly

more toward math.
Males tend to have much larger inferior-parietal lobules
(IPL) than females. This area of the brain is thought to
influence mathematical ability. The brain areas that are
thought to control math and geometry skills mature in
boys about four years earlier than in girls.
4. The female brain is geared slightly
more toward language.
The frontal and temporal areas of the cortex are larger in
females than in males. These brain areas are thought to
influence language skills; they mature in girls about six
years earlier than in boys.

5. Women are more emotional, but we

all knew that already.
Females have a larger hippocampus and a deeper limbic
system than males, which allows them to feel the full
range and depth of the emotional spectrum far more
than those coldhearted, unfeeling jerk guys.

6. Women feel more pain, but we all

knew that already, too.
Upon experiencing pain, mens right amygdala is
activated, while its the left amygdala in women. Since
the left amygdala is more closely associated with
internal functions, it is thought that this is why women
experience pain more acutely than men do.
7. Men tend to have better spatial
Men have a thinner parietal region of the brain than
women, which makes it easier for them to visualize
rotating 3D objectsassuming thats your idea of a good

8. Men are more likely to suffer from

neurological disorders.
Males are more likely to be dyslexic and autistic than
females. They are also more likely to suffer from ADHD
and Tourettes Syndrome.

9. Women are more likely to suffer from

mood disorders.
Male brains synthesize serotonin far more quickly than
female brains, which may explain why women are far
more prone to depression. Women are also far more
likely to suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder after a
traumatizing event.
10. Male and female fetuses start
showing brain differences at around 26
At around the 26-week stage, girl fetuses generally start
developing a thicker corpus callosumthe part of the
brain that connects the left and right hemispheresthan
boy fetuses. This may help explain the fact that women
tend to use both hemispheres of the brain while men
lean toward the left hemisphere.

11. When it comes to intelligence, there

are more male than female outliers.
Male IQ has greater variance than female IQ; in other
words, while females cluster toward the middle, more
males occupy the extreme high and low ends on the
intelligence scale.

12. Women handle stress better than

Both males and females release the hormone oxytocin
during stressful events. But female estrogen combines
with oxytocin to produce a calming effect, whereas male
testosterone only makes men more aggro.
13. Men have weaker impulse control.
The brain areas that control aggression and anger are
larger in women than in men, which may account for
some degree in larger male rates of violence.

Men are stronger, due to more muscles and due to higher testosterone levels.
Men's eyes are more sensitive to small details and moving objects, while women are more
perceptive to color changes. Also men's eyes are better on focusing on a target and weak on
objects on the periphery. the peripheral vision of women is better.
Men tend to store excess fat on the belly. Women store excess fat on thighs and rear more.
Women are better at multitasking. While men are better at concentrating at one thing at a time.
You can notice then when men seem deaf when watching tv or paying attention to the radio.
Women think more emotionally whereas men tend to be more logical often.
Most people have 23 pairs of chromosomes. The numbered pairs (1-22) are called autosomes,
and they are the same in boys and girls.
The 23rd pair is the sex chromosomes. These are the ones that are different in boys and girls.
Boys have an X and a Y and girls have two X chromosomes. Scattered across all of the
chromosomes are over 20,000 different genes. Each gene has the instructions for doing a
particular thing in a cell. All of these different genes work together to make you.
Both boys and girls share almost all of the same set of genes. The difference is the 80 or so on the
Y chromosome. Only boys have those.
But these 80 aren't enough to make a male. Genes on lots of the other chromosomes are involved