Visuospatial, verbal brain role studied

July 18, 2006

U.S. scientists say they've confirmed the theory men and women use different parts of their brains processing language and visuospatial information.

Differences in the way men and women perform verbal and visuospatial tasks has been well documented, but findings have been inconsistent as to whether men and women actually use different parts of their brains.

The new study confirms men and women do indeed use different parts of their brains when processing both language and visuospatial information.

The researchers say their findings provide a benchmark to use in comparing whether underlying sex differences also exist in all children. Such an inquiry can pave the way toward understanding the extent to which sex differences are developmental, sociological and/or hormonal and which differences might become more, or possibly less, distinct with age.

The study -- conducted at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Md. -- used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study 30 adult participants while they performed language and visuospatial tasks.

The research is presented in the journal Brain and Language.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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