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New Insight into the Functional Structure of the Brain


Narrator:        This is Science Today. Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have been studying how the differences in the left side of the brain and the right side might process language information. Psychologist Christine Chiarello received funding from the National Institutes of Health to conduct one of the largest studies ever done looking at the structure of the brain and very detailed measurements of language behavior.

Chiarello:        The purpose was to really try to understand what the nature of these individual differences are. Many people have assumed that when you look at the cortex of one person, you look at the cortex of another person; all the landmarks are the same between one person and another. But when you really look at the brain, you can see subtle differences that are actually observable to the naked eye.

Narrator:        Chiarello says a popular belief is that women have better verbal skills than men do.

Chiarello:        So far we have found that there are some correlations between individual structure of someone's brain and some aspects of their language behavior, 938 but what we did not observe were that these differences necessarily related to whether the person was male or female.

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