Monday, 1 December 2014

The Female Brain

The Female Brain
Thank you for all your feedback and responses to date I do hope that you are finding my thoughts, research and observations interesting.

As stated in an earlier blog post the male brain is left hemisphere bias and that they often bond through actions rather than words.

In the same instance the female brain excels at receiving information from both hemispheres concurrently through thoughts, feelings and words. They are capable of processing complex emotional and sensual information, and tracking the process with words i.e: real ’multi-tasking’.

The female brain is geared for complex thinking and reasoning, weighing all their options, carefully and thoroughly. Women tend to be relational, where men are transactional (Gurian). We are forever seeking order and cooperation, ‘tending and befriending’. Our greater cortical connectivity and activity seen on neural maps are better connected throughout the brain resulting in whole-brained thinking.

This is not to say that gut or intuitive feelings are overridden just added to thoughts for consideration. Where women look for and remember context, men look for and remember factual content.

The female brain is wonderful at remembering emotional and sensual information. It is continually processing information internally, constantly assessing and re-assessing.

The female brain is always busy re-running sentences, tones of voice, gestures, facial expressions, meetings, arguments with a colleague, etc. It can be concluded that the female brain has no ‘off’ state.

I look forward to receiving your thoughts and experiences with regards to my blogs please feel free to get involved, share your thoughts, comments and ideas with me.

Best Regards

Monday, 17 November 2014

The Male Brain

So after 1000’s of years of evolution the male neurobiology was adapted to ‘outdoor thinking,’ and have only come’ indoors’ since the Industrial Revolution whereas female neurobiology has naturally adapted to nurturing, educating and managing people and processes, as discussed in my previous post.

The male brain excels at abstract conceptualizing which is left hemisphere bias. They have a spatial awareness that enables them to track objects on the move in space and allows them to excel in mechanical design. The male brain boasts linear logic, great for rapid short-term problem-solving and expedient decision-making which often results in men taking physical action quickly, with a fair amount of bravery.

Competition, aggression, establishing social hierarchy, territoriality and tenacity are all traits that are more likely to be found in males due to the levels of Vasopressin and Testosterone present in the male brain. Men tend to bond through actions rather than words.

The male brain is indeed driven towards sex and men do find it easier to “switch off” than their female counterparts.

According to neuro-researcher Michael Gurian in “What Could He be Thinking?” (2008):

“Men tend to berate each other, cut each other down, negate each other, and generally treat each other in ways women find nasty and mean. Yet the men laugh, jostle, jest, motivate, and seem to feel helped, supported, and loved in the process.”

Please share your thoughts, comments and ideas with me. I look forward to interacting with you.

Best Regards

Monday, 3 November 2014

Neurobiology – The Big Differences

In my previous blog post I explained in short that neuroscientists have found that the 8% difference between the male and female brain has already generated over 100 differences with this number still growing as more and more research is done.

It goes without saying that after 1000s of years of evolution, the male neurobiology was naturally adapted to hunting, farming, protecting and building, in essence, an outdoor way of thinking. As a result men have only ‘come indoors’, so to speak, en masse since the Industrial Revolution (1780 in Europe, 1860 in South Africa), but this change in the course of evolution is not a long time period.

The history of female neurobiology is therefore naturally adapted to nurturing, educating and managing people and processes; these are the things that women continue to do at home or in the workplace.

Please do get involved, share your thoughts, comments and ideas with me. I look forward to hearing your ideas and interacting with you.

Best Regards

Monday, 20 October 2014

Overview of Brain Differences & Neuroplasticity

As I briefly explained in my previous blog post, there’s an 8% difference between the female and male brain, which seems like very little until you consider that the difference the 2-5% 8% difference between a human and chimpanzee brain where we share 95 to 98 percent of the same DNA, according to the Jane Goodall Institute in Washington, D.C. More information about this report can be found at Monkeyland.

It’s time to explore more deeply into the differences that we all see in each other, brain based “sex” distinctions rather than to rely on culturally driven differences of past.

Neuroscientists found that the 8% has already generated over 100 differences and this number is growing. Let’s face it we all live with these differences every day, some subtle and some not so subtle.

Neuroscientists are still discovering how many of these differences are driven by DNA and hormonal variations i.e.: “biologically driven” and how many of these are considered “lifetime influences” - those driven by upbringing and culture which are referred to as the neuroplastic influences.

Please feel free to get involved, share your thoughts, comments and ideas with me. I look forward to interacting with you.

Best Regards

Monday, 6 October 2014

Brain Exchange Solutions

Mary Ovenstone
As many of you may know the focus of my attention over the past five years has been my fascination of the brain with particular emphasis regarding the differences between the male and female brain.

While writing my thesis for my Mphil at the University of Stellenbosch Business School I have been keeping updated as to the latest research in neuroplasticity and how you can change the way that you think and act for yourself and support that change in others.

What I have found is that there are clear gender distinctions, 92% of the brain is the same in both males and females, but the remaining 8% makes all the difference! Men and women think and make decisions, process feelings and relate differently. ‘Sex differences’ in the brain are genetic while gender roles and behaviors may be influenced by cultural distinctions.  I feel that all of our societal institutions need to be adjusted to take these sex differences into consideration.

My research will aid others in understanding how to work and be with other people of the same and opposite sex whether it’s for coaching, in business environments or even for personal relationships.

Please feel free to get involved, share your thoughts, comments and ideas with me. I look forward to interacting with you.

Best Regards

Monday, 15 September 2014

Oxytocin: The love hormone

You may have heard lots on TV and in magazine articles lately about Oxytocin, the love chemical in the brain. Dr. Oz on Oprah, Dr. John Gray in his latest book on relationship between Mars and Venus, The Doctors on TV, are all mentioning it.

This feel-good chemical, generated in both the brain and the heart, induces empathy, bonding and intimacy. Women generate lots of Oxytocin.  Since, like all other mental functions in the female it is associated with verbal activities, it gives rise in women to what scientists are now calling the ‘Tend and befriend’ instinct.  Women generate Oxytocin in conversations, when experiencing closeness to their children and even when receiving a hug from their partner. 

The male brain and heart also generate Oxytocin, although in lower levels than in the female. It is important to note that Oxytocin levels spike in both men and women at the time of sexual activities, particularly orgasm.  Not only does it make us feel close and loving, it also releases stress in the body and the brain.

The old idea is true that women need intimacy (Oxytocin generated in their brains and bodies) in order to want to have sex, while men need sex in order to feel intimacy.

Hint: Men should give hugs and affection, listen for at least a few minutes each day to their partners and they will help her generate the feelings of intimacy and desire for sex. Women should understand that men need sex in order to generate all the feelings we take for granted.

Relationships are in need of constant work and commitment, sometimes a little outside help can go a long way.

Monday, 8 September 2014

How women and men really think and feel

Only in the last five years Magnetic Resonance Images (MRIs) have isolated the differences between the way male and female brains actually work.

You’d be surprised how different we actually are.

Neuroscience can finally put paid to some of our myths about each other, and we can finally usher in a stage of new learning about how to better communicate and work with each other.

One of the first myths is that men are left-brained and women are right-brained. While men do have a left-brained bias, women have a larger corpus collosum (the web of nerves that connect the two hemispheres of the brain) and many thousands more neurons that connect all the parts of the highly complex female brain, making the average woman truly both-brained. And a female has 6-7 centres for speech throughout the brain, whereas men have 1 or 2 only in the left hemisphere.  What this means is that women can process thoughts and feelings all at once and can use words to both track the process and describe it.
That should come as no surprise to their partners or male work colleagues who find it difficult to listen to women talk through their processes! 

The second, and related, myth is that men are the thinkers and women are the feelers. The fact is that men feel a lot, but just don’t always have words to describe their feelings and take longer to truly process an emotional issue. Women on the other hand initially bundle their feelings, thoughts and words, and need more time to separate them out, formulate comprehensive ideas and communicate them logically. While the male brain looks for expedient and strategic deductions, the female brain includes greater detail, more depth and breadth to her conclusions. Both perspectives are necessary to any complex decision-making process, both at home and at work.

No wonder we were designed to fit together!

I’ll be exploring more of these differences in up-coming blogs.