In Focus:

Women’s Brains Respond to Generosity, Men’s Respond to Selfishness

Research has shown that when women and men are put in the same situation involving a sum of money, the women tend to share that money more generously than the men. Now, a new study may provide some evidence as to why: The female brain responds differently to generous and selfish behaviors than the male brain, say researchers from the University of Zurich.

The study, published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, is the first to show a biological, gender-based tendency toward generosity. But the finding doesn’t mean that one sex is born to be more giving than the other, the researchers say.

The researchers were interested in looking at how the striatum—a part of the brain that’s active during decision-making and reward processeing—would respond in various scenarios. So they asked 40 adults to take part in brain imaging experiments in which they had to make decisions about sharing money with others or keeping it for themselves.

More hot stories

Weed Makes You More Mellow, but It Doesn’t Douse Your Fire

Marijuana may make some people feel more mellow, but it doesn’t seem to put out the fire of sexual passion, researchers reported Friday. In fact, people who said they used cannabis also claimed to have sex a little more often than people who never used it, a team at Stanford University...

Read More

Yoga May Boost Aging Brains

Older women who practice yoga may have greater "thickness" in areas of the brain involved in memory and attention, a small study suggests. Researchers found that even compared with other healthy, active women their age, yoga practitioners typically had greater cortical thickness in the brain's left prefrontal cortex. That could be good news because, as the...

Read More

Smoke 1 Cigarette a Day? It Can Still Kill You

 If you think having just one cigarette a day won't do any harm, you're wrong. British researchers say lighting up just once a day was linked to a much higher risk of heart disease and stroke than might be expected. The bottom line: "No safe level of smoking exists for cardiovascular disease," wrote the team led by Allan Hacksaw,...

Read More