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Dec 20, 2013 07:00 AM EST

Newcastle Researchers Solve Mystery Of Why Girls Mature Faster Than Boys

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Newcastle University researchers have resolved a long-standing mystery of why girls 'grow up' faster than boys. Researchers said that girls' brains are 'pruned' much quicker when compared to their male counterparts.

The pruning process or the re-organisation of the brain involves elimination of unnecessary connections between cells as people grow older. Long distance signals, responsible for 'integrating' information, is preserved while other connections are streamlined.

The pruning process for girls begins at around age ten, while in boys it starts only at age 20.This finding explains why teenage girls are found to be better at preventing bad situations from becoming worse at home and behave more sensibly than boys.

For the study, the researchers observed scans of 121 people aged between four and 40.

"The loss of connectivity during brain development can actually help to improve brain function by reorganizing the network more efficiently.  Say instead of talking to many people at random, asking a couple of people who have lived in the area for a long time is the most efficient way to know your way," Researcher Sol Lim said in a statement.

'In a similar way, reducing some projections in the brain helps to focus on essential information.'

The study has been published in journal Cerebral Cortex.

Researcher Dr Marcus Kaiser compares the pruning process of the brain to that of a party scenario.

"It is like if you are at a party and everyone is talking and you can't concentrate. But if some of the voices go, it is easier to hear. It is similar in the brain. If some of the connections are not there, it is easier to do the work," Kaiser said, Daily Mail UK reports.

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