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Study Reveals Gender Differences in Brain Wiring: Variances in Daydreaming, Memory, and Decision-Making Regions


Researchers developed an AI model that accurately differentiates brain activity scans of men and women with over 90% accuracy.

Variances mainly occur in brain regions like the default mode network, striatum, and limbic network, associated with various cognitive functions such as daydreaming, memory recall, future planning, decision-making, and olfaction.

The researchers expressed optimism that their study will contribute to a better understanding of brain conditions that manifest differently in men and women.

AI Model Identifies Gender in Brain Scans

Researchers developed an AI model that accurately differentiates brain activity scans of men and women with over 90% accuracy.

To investigate sex-specific brain disparities, Menon and his team devised a deep neural network model capable of categorizing brain scans as either male or female.

They initiated the process by presenting the AI with a series of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans and providing information regarding whether the brain belonged to a male or female individual.

Through this iterative process, the AI gradually learned to discern subtle variations in different brain regions based on sex.

When presented with approximately 1,500 brain scans from a distinct dataset than the one used for training, the AI accurately determined the gender of the brain’s owner in over 90% of instances.

AI Identifies Key Brain Regions for Sex Determination

In this investigation, the team identified key brain regions crucial for the AI’s determination of an individual’s sex.

These critical areas included the default mode network, the striatum, and the limbic network. The default mode network activates during periods of introspection, memory retrieval, and self-referential thoughts.

The striatum plays a significant role in coordinating cognitive functions such as planning, decision-making, and motivation.

Additionally, the limbic network supports various brain processes, including emotional regulation, long-term memory formation, and olfaction.

Published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study not only distinguished between male and female brains but also explored whether brain scans could predict an individual’s cognitive performance on laboratory tests.

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