2019-10-25 09:03栏目:澳门新莆京33375.com


For many men, the idea that they have a better sense of direction than women was never in doubt, but now a scientific study has proved it.




Researchers from Norway scanned the brains of volunteers as they completed navigation tasks to discover men are more adept at finding their way because they use a separate part of their brain.


Adding fuel to the fire, when women had testosterone dropped onto their tongues, their navigational skills improved.


Using 3D goggles and a joystick, a total of 36 participants - 18 men and 18 women - had to orient themselves in a large virtual maze while functional images of their brains were continuously recorded.


In the MRI scanner, they were given 30 seconds for each of the 45 navigation tasks. One of the tasks, for example, was to ’find the yellow car’ from different starting points.


The men solved 50 per cent more of the tasks than the women.


According to lead researcher Dr Carl Pintzka from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), women and men have different navigational strategies.


Men use cardinal directions – the use of north, south, east and west - during navigation to a greater degree.


Men’s sense of direction was more effective. They quite simply got to their destination faster,’ he said.


If they’re going to the Student Society building in Trondheim, for example, men usually go in the general direction where it’s located,’ Dr Pintzka explained.


Women usually orient themselves along a route to get there, for example, "go past the hairdresser and then up the street and turn right after the store."


The study shows that using cardinal directions is more efficient because it is a more flexible strategy.


The destination can be reached faster because the strategy depends less on where you start.


Images of the brain showed that both men and women use large areas of the brain when they navigate, but some areas were different.


The men used the hippocampus more, whereas women used their frontal areas to a greater extent.


That’s in sync with the fact that the hippocampus is necessary to make use of cardinal directions,’ added Dr Pintzka.


He explained the findings in evolutionary terms.


In ancient times, men were hunters and women were gatherers. Therefore, our brains probably evolved differently.


For instance, other researchers have documented that women are better at finding objects locally than men. In simple terms, women are faster at finding things in the house, and men are faster at finding the house,’ Dr Pintzka said.


During a second experiment, a separate group of women was given a drop of testosterone under their tongue just before they were going to solve the maze puzzles.


In this step, 42 women were divided into two groups.


Half of them received a drop of placebo, and 21 got a drop of testosterone under the tongue.


The study was double-blinded so that neither Dr Pintzka nor the women knew who got what.


We hoped that they would be able to solve more tasks, but they didn’t.


[However], they had improved knowledge of the layout of the maze, and they used the hippocampus to a greater extent, which tends to be used more by men for navigating,’ he said.


Losing one’s sense of direction is one of the first symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease.


He hopes that by understanding how men and women use different brain areas and strategies to navigate, researchers will be able to enhance the understanding of the disease’s development, and develop coping strategies for those already affected.