Women's brain activity is described by a study, conducted at the Amen Clinics, Inc., in Newport Beach, Calif., as being "significantly more active in many more areas" than Men's brains. Women's brain activity — activity is shown as increased blood flow — registered in two areas, while men's brain activity registered in one area. Women's brains have more blood flow in more areas than men's brains while both resting and performing cognitive tasks.

Active brain regions measured by functional SPECT

Brain activity is measured by "functional neuroimaging," specifically 3D SPECT imaging (single-photon emission computed tomography), that registers blood flow in Brain Regions while participants rest or perform cognitive tasks.

Brain activity is seen while participants' brains are functioning in two states: resting and performing mental tasks.

Women's brains register activity in control and emotion regions

Women's brain areas registering increased blood flow during these two states are the prefrontal cortex and the limbic regions. The prefrontal cortex has many functions but this study specifies association with "focus and impulse control."

The limbic region is of current scientific interest because the seat of the amygdala (the primitive area where events are first processed into memory, including traumatic memory), is associated with mood, emotions, anxiety, and memory implanting.

Men's brains register activity in visual and coordination region

Men's brain region registering increased blood flow during these two states — resting and cognitive activity — is the cerebellum. The cerebellum region is associated with visual coordination and general coordination.

Brain activity related to women's and men's characteristics

Researchers at Amen Clinics, headed by psychiatrist Daniel G. Amen, MD, founder of Amen Clinics, suggests that the results of women's increased blood flow in the prefrontal cortex may explain their "greater strengths" in characteristics of self-control, concern and collaboration, intuition and empathy.

Increased blood flow in the limbic area may explain women's "vulnerability" to mood and emotional issues such as depression, anxiety and insomnia as well as eating disorders. The study suggests a connection between men's increased brain activity in the cerebellum and their higher incidence of incarceration.

Quantifiable brain activity differences associated with different brain disorders

Women's brains have more incidents of Alzheimer's disease and emotional disorders, like anxiety and depression. Men have more incidents of attention deficit and conduct-related disorders, which may be associated with a high incidence of incarceration. These quantifiable differences in brain region activity are illuminated by this study, which is the largest to use functional neuroimaging tools such as SPECT.

SPECT uses gamma photon ray waves to build a cross-sectional 3D image of the brain (or other object).

'Precision medicine' treatments targeting women's and men's brain disorders

This study provides valuable information important to the development of "precision medicine" treatments for brain disorders as they are found in women's and men's brains. The study was conducted with participants with healthy brains and those with "a variety of psychiatric conditions."

Study participants and 46,034 brain images

From the 119 brain-healthy participants and the 26,683 participants with psychiatric conditions, 46,034 brain SPECT scans — providing tomography of 128 brain regions — were analyzed for baseline "resting" function and for cognitive concentration function. Dr. Daniel Amen's report, "Gender Based Cerebral Perfusion Differences in 46,034 Functional Neuroimaging Scans," was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.