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.

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