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Unleashing The Power Of The Female Brain

It has been said that boys will be boys and girls will be girls. But what are the true brain differences between the two sexes?

What The Study Told Us

In the largest brain imaging study ever done, we compared the scans of 46,000 male and female brains using a study called SPECT, which looks at blood flow and activity patterns.

Out of 80 areas tested, females were significantly more active in 70.

These differences help us understand some of the unique strengths and vulnerabilities of the female brain and give us important clues on how to optimize it.

Why Are Female Brains More Active?

Because of the increased activity, females often exhibit greater strengths in the areas of:

• Empathy
• Intuition
• Collaboration
• Self-control
• Appropriate worrying

But this increased activity also makes females more vulnerable to anxiety and depression, which they suffer from twice as much as men; insomnia; eating disorders and pain.

Key Differences in the Female Brain vs. Male Brain

We found that females have stronger activity in an area of the brain called the prefrontal cortex, which is involved with planning, judgment, empathy and self-control. Think of the prefrontal cortex as the brain’s brake. It helps keep you on track and stops you from saying or doing things you shouldn’t. When the prefrontal cortex is low in activity, you can struggle with short attention span, distractibility and problems with impulse control.

When it works too hard, as it often does in women, it’s like the parking brake is always on and you can get stuck on certain thoughts or behaviors, such as worrying or holding grudges.

An area deep in the prefrontal cortex called the anterior cingulate gyrus is also more active in females. It is involved with error detection which is why you can sometimes focus too much on what is wrong: with your body, your children, etc.

Women & Serotonin

A study from Canada showed that women produce 52% less serotonin than men. This is very important as serotonin helps calm and relax the prefrontal cortex. When serotonin levels are too low, people often struggle with:

• Anxiety
• Depression
• Pain syndromes
• Trouble sleeping
• Obsessive worry
• Carbohydrate cravings

Researchers have also found that females also have more activity in the part of the brain responsible for gut feelings and intuition. They also have more activity in the limbic or emotional and bonding areas of the brain, which is why they tend to be primary caretakers for children and the elderly, and why they often excel at collaboration.

Knowing all this, here are 5 ways to unleash the power of the female brain:

Based on these differences, female brains tend to have five special strengths: empathy, intuition, collaboration, self-control, and a little worry.

1. Always balance empathy with self-care. Women are doing more today than ever before and the constant stress is stealing their health and making them sick. Women make appointments for everyone else, but not themselves. The supplements l-theanine, relora, magnesium, and Holy Basil can help lower stress.

2. Intuition is an important skill that keeps us alive and gives women an important edge. If you tap into it, you can get to solutions faster.

3. Boost collaboration by working to include others. This is why women often make great bosses – they have gifts of empathy, collaboration, intuition and also tend to make fewer risky decisions when stressed.

4. Self-control is so important to keeping you healthy. You can boost your self-control by making sure your blood sugar is stable. So you have to eat to stay in control of yourself. When blood sugar levels are low, blood flow to the brain is low, and you make more bad decisions.

5. Balance worry with wellness. Some anxiety is good if it keeps you on track, but too much is painful. To get your anxiety under control, look for natural ways to support healthy serotonin levels: Exercise can do it, as can certain supplements, like 5HTP, B6 and saffron.

Improve Your Brain Health

At Amen Clinics, we have spent decades helping people just like you improve their brain health. Call us today at 888-288-9834 or schedule a visit.

Bestselling author and brain expert Dr. Daniel G. Amen offers insight on the unique characteristics and needs of the female brain and a practical, prescriptive program targeted specifically for women to help them thrive. Discover more HERE.

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COMMENTS

  1. Jessie says:

    So the statement below regarding the study means most, not all, men have lower activity than women. So Trumpo must have no activity in the prefrontal cortex, seriously this could actually be part of his problem. Correct?
    “We found that females have stronger activity in an area of the brain called the prefrontal cortex, which is involved with planning, judgment, empathy and self-control. Think of the prefrontal cortex as the brain’s brake. It helps keep you on track and stops you from saying or doing things you shouldn’t. When the prefrontal cortex is low in activity, you can struggle with short attention span, distractibility and problems with impulse control.”

    • richard nicoletti says:

      The only problem Trump has is people like you who complain about everything he does, no matter what he does. The man has done more good in on year than the Kenyan did in eight.

      • Marlene R. says:

        This is a discussion on the brain…don’t know why Trump has become the subject, but just to set the record straight is that those of us who might ‘complain’ about him is for good reason. With him in office we are all losers. Noted Psychiatrists en mass have written warning signals on him based on his behavior. As a professional myself, I have major concerns for what I see as a language-based disability: low vocabulary; syntax; difficulty remaining on topic as part of his verbal expressive language; his reported lack of reading most likely due to reading/comprehension issues; and, his untreated ADHD with impulsivity. As for him doing more this year….I’d say what he has done is created more chaos and conflict than any other president, while the American born President Obama provided us with a very stable economy after inheriting one of the worst recessions in U.S. history. One only has to research this at the government website to learn the facts. Trump inherited a stable economy that he has been coasting on.

      • Christianna Wheeler says:

        I found this interesting and it opened up my eyes to a lot of things.. For Richard Nicoletti. Why is everything on every page political.. It just goes to explain men are not as smart and classy as women. You should have left your racist comment out of this very informative study and Amen Clinic should delete it. Did your mother drop you on your head and fail to get you medical attention? That goes for Jesse also. Not sure if man or woman but leave politics out.

      • marie says:

        Richard Nicoletti you are so right about President Trump. and Jessie at least he has a brain unlike you and your democratic party who haven’t given this man a break for making this country strong again.

      • Sue Mitchel says:

        This is a stanard relpy…of many on the right…or people that think like Trump.

    • Andy says:

      It would seem that this it is not black and white. I feel like I have some trouble with impulse control at times, but I also feel like my brake is on all the time. I do not like taking risks.

      I agree that there are some people who will criticize politicians no matter what they do, as a mechanism to build momentum against them in follow-up elections, and also to obstruct any “progress” they intend to make in areas that are antithetical to all they hold dear.

      But for average people, I believe it is normal to take objection to actions that are taken by any politician. Because no politician can truly represent all the people. Even within a political party, you can have a seemingly infinite combination of opinions on how the world should work and what it should look like.

    • PT says:

      Jessie, the brain is much more complex than your attribution.

  2. Chad says:

    Are there areas of the brain that are more active for men, or are they equal in the other areas?

  3. Bridget says:

    Could women have more active brains simply from having to be on the alert for danger and threats all the time and from having to repress those fears in order to appear normal?

    Would have to compare with babies brains to see if they start out this way or are conditioned.

    • Toby Elizabeth says:

      I was thinking that evolution optimized women for childbearing and caring for for infants. Women needed to bond and have compassion. Men were optimized to take the risks, because one man can father many more children than a women can bear in her lifetime. This made men more expendable.

  4. Kathy says:

    Thank you for this synopsis! Most helpful. Keeping this info in mind as I talk with clients. Is it possible to get the source for the Canadian study on serotonin? Would like to hear more about unleashing the power of the male brain as well.
    Thanks for the work that you and Tana do!

  5. M. D. Collins says:

    Interesting and informative article on women’s brains.

    Now, in this day of beat-the-man-up (and down), when do we get a book on the guys?

    Thank you.

  6. Garth says:

    I looked forward to reading this article but was disappointed to find generalizations drawn from the brain scan data.

    Wouldn’t the next step be to assess the subjects on those behavioral attributes?

    I think this article also sensationalizes the gender divide and does not help create any real understanding brain differences. And should this differentiation be based simply on a binary? How do lgbtqa and inter sexed people factor in?

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