RSS

At Last! Science Confirms What All Husbands Knew!

08 Dec

If you have ever been on a car trip with your wife/significant other, and gotten lost or try to find someplace and she thinks you are a complete dingbat at finding places…And she is screaming for you to go in what you know is the wrong direction, or to stop and ask someone for directions when you know perfectly well  where you are going…

Hand her this! I suggest keeping a (multiple) copy in the glove box.

Study Says That Men Have The Better Sense Of Direction

The idea that men have a better sense of direction than women is one of the oldest gender cliches. But new research suggests that men really might employ better navigational strategies than women.

Previous studies — including many decades-old experiments on rats in mazes — have shown that men tend to outperform women on tasks requiring spatial awareness and way-finding. Now, the new findings offer a glimpse into why this is the case.

In a new study currently under review, neuroscientists at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, asked 18 male and 18 female participants to use 3D goggles and a joystick for one hour to orient themselves in a virtual maze game. Then, they were given 30 seconds for each of 45 various navigational tasks (for instance, finding a yellow car from different starting points). Meanwhile, the researchers measured their brain activity using fMRI.

“Men’s sense of direction was more effective,” Carl Pintzka, a Ph.D candidate in neuroscience at the university and the study’s lead author, said in a statement. “They quite simply got to their destination faster.”

The researchers found that men used cardinal directions more in their navigation. That means that men tended to use a “world-centered strategy,” going in the general direction of where something was located.

“World-centered strategy means the use of a cognitive map and cardinal directions to find your way,” Pintzka told The Huffington Post in an email. “Women on the other hand used a more egocentric strategy (self-centered), which means they relied more on a route of landmarks to get to the target.”

The world-centered strategy, which the men used, is more flexible since having a sense of direction is less dependent on the starting point. It’s likely that this is why the men ended up completing 50 percent more of the tasks than the women did.

The fMRI scans revealed a number of brain activity differences between the sexes. In men, the hippocampus — a brain region that helps us make sense of cardinal directions — was used more, and a larger hippocampus was associated with better navigational skills. Women relied more on the pre- and orbitofrontal cortex of the brain, which is involved in decision-making. Additionally, men had increased connectivity and synchronicity between important areas for navigation compared to women.

In a second study, which will be published on Feb. 1 in the journal Behavioral Brain Research, 21 women who were given testosterone and 21 women who were not given any hormones underwent the same navigational tasks. The results showed that the women who took testosterone didn’t perform any better, but they did use the hippocampus more when navigating, just like the men in the first experiment.

What does it all mean? Well, the gender differences have more to do with behavior and brain differences than hormones. 

“Our results demonstrate that testosterone had an enhancing effect on certain aspects of spatial cognition in healthy women, but that complex behaviors such as navigation, relying more on learned strategies, are not altered despite increased neuronal activity in relevant brain regions,” Pintzka told HuffPost. “These findings suggest that the male navigation advantage mainly reflects sex differences inbehavioral strategy.”

The researchers simply chalk up these differences to our evolutionary past.

“In ancient times, men were hunters and women were gatherers. Therefore, our brains probably evolved differently,” Pintzka said. “In simple terms, women are faster at finding things in the house, and men are faster at finding the house.”

 

 
3 Comments

Posted by on December 8, 2015 in Men

 

Tags: , , , , ,

3 responses to “At Last! Science Confirms What All Husbands Knew!

  1. lkeke35

    December 8, 2015 at 10:06 PM

    Once again I end up being contrary to scientific studies. I’m a woman who can’t find a damn thing in my house which is why I have set places to put things in the house. I hate looking for anything. However, on the road I’m able to orient myself quickly according to cardinal points . I can’t use the land,are strategy because I simply can’t see that level of details while driving. I find that if I orient my myself, in the world, I can find my way anywhere though.

    Like

     
  2. lkeke35

    December 8, 2015 at 10:06 PM

    That’s “landmark” strategy.

    Like

     
    • btx3

      December 9, 2015 at 12:41 AM

      Only places I get lost is in those old towns where they had a horse pulling a blade to make a road and the horse dropped dead…Upon acquiring a replacement horse the work crew started on the same road with a 1/2 mile gap because that’s where they would have been if the first horse hadn’t died. And somehow in 200 years or so – nobody got around to connecting the two parts of the same road together. Otherwise I navigate fine by the sun or stars giving me direction in terms of North, East or West – and major divisions like rivers or Mountains spatially. Trick I learned navigating through wilderness type woods in the mountains as a kid and figuring out North by which side of the tree the moss grew on.

      Liked by 1 person

       

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: