Reviewed by Louise Chang on April 05, 2012

Sources

Marianne Legato, MD. Founder, Partnership for Gender-Specific Medicine.

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Video Transcript

: How do men's and women's brains function differently?

Marianne Legato, MD: This is definitely the era of the brain, and so the differences between men and women in the structure and function of the brain have been very interesting to me, as have the debates on whether or not men and women's abilities are equivalent. And I think that as we development more data from neurology, we see that men and women can perform equally well the same tasks, but they use different systems and techniques sometimes to address those tasks. It is said that men have greater facility for manipulating an object in three dimensions and they can find their way through three dimensional space more easily and in training and testing men and women, we find that if we give them a virtual reality maze to negotiate, men and women can find their way out of the maze, but they do so with different tactics. A woman will use landmarks, meet me at Prada, and then turn left and stop at the red door. A man will say go 1.9 kilometers west, turn 30% and I'll be there. Different techniques, but the same result. Some systems or methods of problem solving may take longer, which is why testing of men and women with a timed exam, might show a spurious and inaccurate difference in abilities if the systems that we use take a little longer to put in place, or we have a time advantage over the other sex. But there are differences in the brain.