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Bob Thomas


Man Thinking

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook.  I found it to be most interesting.  Well, to be honest, the title alone captivated my interest which in turn made me want to read the article.  After reading it, I knew I had to share this with you.  It gives insight into that thing that most women say a man does not have.............."a brain."


Love, Sex and the Male Brain


By Louann Brizendine, Special to CNN  (Reprinted from March 25, 2010)

 Editor's note: Dr. Louann Brizendine is a member of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the National Board of Medical Examiners, and a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. She is founder and director of the Women's Mood and Hormone Clinic. She wrote "The Female Brain" and, just released, "The Male Brain."  

(CNN) -- Although women the world over have been doing it for centuries, we can't really blame a guy for being a guy.  And this is especially true now that we know that the male and female brains have some profound differences.

Our brains are mostly alike.  We are the same species, after all.  But the differences can sometimes make it seem like we are worlds apart.  The "defend your turf" area -- dorsal premammillary nucleus -- is larger in the male brain and contains special circuits to detect territorial challenges by other males. And the amygdala, the alarm system for threats, fear and danger is also larger in men.  These brain differences make men more alert than women to potential turf threats. 

Meanwhile, the "I feel what you feel" part of the brain -- mirror-neuron system -- is larger and more active in the female brain.  So women can naturally get in sync with others' emotions by reading facial expressions, interpreting tone of voice and other nonverbal emotional cues.  Perhaps the biggest difference between the male and female brain is that men have a sexual pursuit area that is 2.5 times larger than the one in the female brain.  Not only that, but beginning in their teens, they produce 20 to 25-fold more testosterone than they did during pre-adolescence.  If testosterone were beer, a 9-year-old boy would be getting the equivalent of a cup a day.  But a 15-year-old would be getting the equivalent of nearly two gallons a day.  This fuels their sexual engines and makes it impossible for them to stop thinking about female body parts and sex.


And so begins the 'Man Trance'


All that testosterone drives the "Man Trance"-- that glazed-eye look a man gets when he sees breasts.  As a woman who was among the ranks of the early feminists, I wish I could say that men can stop themselves from entering this trance.  But the truth is, they can't.  Their visual brain circuits are always on the lookout for fertile mates.  Whether or not they intend to pursue a visual enticement, they have to check out the goods.

To a man, this is the most natural response in the world, so he's dismayed by how betrayed his wife or girlfriend feels when she sees him eyeing another woman.  Men look at attractive women the way we look at pretty butterflies.  They catch the male brain's attention for a second, but then they flit out of his mind.  Five minutes later, while we're still fuming, he's deciding whether he wants ribs or chicken for dinner.  He asks us, "What's wrong?"  We say, "Nothing."  He shrugs and turns on the TV.  We smolder and fear that he'll leave us for another woman. 

Not surprisingly, the different objectives that men and women have in mating games put us on opposing teams -- at least at first.  The female brain is driven to seek security and reliability in a potential mate before she has sex.  But a male brain is fueled to mate and mate again.  Until, that is, he mates for life.  Despite stereotypes to the contrary, the male brain can fall in love just as hard and fast as the female brain, and maybe more so.  When he meets and sets his sights on capturing "the one," mating with her becomes his prime directive.  And when he succeeds, his brain makes an indelible imprint of her.  Lust and love collide and he's hooked.


The 'Doting Daddy Brain'


A man in hot pursuit of a mate doesn't even remotely resemble a devoted, doting daddy.  But that's what his future holds.  When his mate becomes pregnant, she'll emit pheromones that will waft into his nostrils, stimulating his brain to make more of a hormone called prolactin.  Her pheromones will also cause his testosterone production to drop by 30 percent.  These hormonal changes make him more likely to help with the baby.  They also change his perceptual circuitry, increasing his ability to hear a baby cry, something many men can't do very well before their wives are pregnant.  And a word to the wise for all the young mothers who are reluctant to let your husbands hold and care for your newborn.  The more hands-on care a father gives his infant, the more his brain aligns with the role of fatherhood.  So, hand over the baby.

(I told you it was interesting.  Look for part two, Wednesday, 30 March 2010.  - bob"baritone" thomas -)

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03/29/2010 4:00AM
Man Thinking
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03/31/2010 4:16PM
pharmacy technician
Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!
07/05/2010 6:01PM
Brain Circuits Are Naturally "Noisy" And Susceptible To Butterfly Effect, Study... UK scientists who tested rats' brains found that brain circuits are naturally "noisy" and susceptible to the celebrated "butterfly effect", andto overcome this natural byproduct of complexity they probably use a system called "rate" code to cut...
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