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E. Early Studies Find Gender Differences in the Brain

Narrator: This is Science Today. It's been long assumed that men and women think differently, but it took some time to find a biological basis for this theory. Now a number of studies are confirming there are indeed gender differences in the brain. At the University of California, Irvine, for example, Dr. Larry Cahill has used PET scans to trace the brain activity of men and women watching movies and discovered they use different sides of a small brain structure called the amygdala to store emotional memories.

Cahill: As things get more emotional, men are tending to remember more of the central aspects of a story at the expense of the peripheral details - whereas women are tending to remember both a little better. Men seem to have a very different pattern. As things get more emotional, they seem to be focusing in like a flashlight beam on the gist of the story more at the expense of the details.

Narrator: These results are preliminary and more study is needed.

Cahill: What this study essentially does is document that there is this sex-related laterality of function going on.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.