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Dec 01, 2015 10:19 AM EST

Male and female brains are basically the same, says study


A new study suggests that there is no such thing as a distinctly male or female brain, Webmd reports.

"This is the first study to look at the brain as a whole and ask whether brains are of two types. The answer is no," said study lead author Daphna Joel, a psychologist and professor at Tel-Aviv University in Israel.

"Each person possesses a unique mosaic of characteristics: some more common in females compared to males, some more common in males compared to females, and some common in both," Joel said.

The study is published in the Nov. 30 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

For the study, the researchers carried out an analysis of more than 1,400 MRI scans. They found that the biologically sex differences don't extend to the brain. The brain is a mosaic of masculine and feminine characteristics.

"Anyone who is aware of current data on brain sex differences appreciates that there is no such thing as a monolithic 'male brain' or 'female brain,' in much the same way as there is no such thing as a male heart and a female heart," said Lise Eliot, a neuroscientist at Rosalind Franklin University in Chicago, according to Livescience.

Joel and colleagues found that the brains of males and females were not different in terms of gray matter, white matter and connections inside the brain.

The findings revealed that "many more brains" included both traits that are more common in females and traits more common in men, Joel said.

However, Joel specified that the new study doesn't address how your actions reflect your gender.

"We did not deal at all with the questions where differences in brain and behavior come from -- nature or nurture -- nor did we attempt to link differences in brain structure to differences in behavior," she said.

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