Ramblings of an old Doc


Discovered many interesting things on livescience.com – here are two as an example:

The first: Images of the brain, processed by a neuroscientist-artist…Greg Dunn. He took various areas of the brain and then processed them creating unique art. One example in the screen shot below (more can be found on gregadunn.com):


The second is more of a mind expanding piece regarding the “male” vs. the “female” brain. Turns out, when this was examined by Dr. Dafna Joel and colleagues at the University of Tel Aviv:

“…there were very few individuals whose brain regions were all male-like or female-like. And there was no clear continuum between the two endpoints. Instead, across both gray and white matter and in connectivity patterns, brains are so overlapping that calling a particular form male or female is meaningless, Joel and her colleagues wrote.

Our results demonstrate that even when analyses are restricted to a small number of brain regions (or connections) showing the largest sex/gender differences, internal consistency is rare and is much less common than substantial variability (i.e., being at the one end of the 'maleness-femaleness' continuum on some elements and at the other end on other elements)," they wrote.” – livescience

So…it turns out that within a given sex, there is more variability than between sexes, or: Our brains are blended mosaics of male and female structures. A growing body of evidence suggests that development is a give-and-take between genetic, environmental and epigenetic (above the genome) factors, all of which are acting in parallel and influencing one another in complicated ways. Different brain regions react in different ways to sex-specific influences, which are not limited to estrogen and testosterone.

"The idea of a unified 'masculine' or 'feminine' personality turns out not to describe real people," she said. "It describes stereotypes to which we constantly compare ourselves and each other, but more people are 'gender non-conforming' than we generally realize." – Dr. R. Jordan-Young, Barnard College

Very interesting reading indeed, showing yet again, that stereotypic thinking should be rejected.




on Feb 07, 2016

Book marked to read later!! Love Greg Dunn's artwork... roots, trees, flowers... and so on!! 

on Feb 11, 2016

Very cool. This mirrors a lot of what I have held to believe for quite some time. It always would grind my gears when people would say things like "for a woman, she is really smart and has a really mathematical brain" or "for a man, he is really in touch with his feelings and can read people really well" 


As if we are still living in the 1950's when people assumed that men think in a more structured and logic driven way, while women thought in a more emotional way. 


Our brains respond to stimuli and influence and is constantly changing. Everything makes an impression on it. Every time we make a memory and every time we learn something new. So the way that our brains take in and process information is largely based on nurture, not nature. 


That being said, I think that there are obvious cases when the genetic and physical makeup of someone's brain does indeed dictate how information is processed; for example when someone is autistic or if brain chemistry is off, like in the case of psychopaths. 


But this concept of men and women think differently is BS and is a social construct that is perpetually reinforced. Nice to see that the thinking is beginning to change.