Thursday, May 31, 2007

Male and female brains

According to the BBC's test, I must have been exposed to some testosterone as a fetus -- I have spatial skills after all!

Want to see if your brain falls more into the male or female model? Take the test here. It's part of a BBC series on "secrets of the sexes." If you're interested, I scored almost exactly halfway between a male and a female brain (good at words and spatial skills, bad at emotions and sytems thinking. Hmm.)

Other interesting results from the study: straight women have the worst spatial skills, straight men the most. And the most dispiriting - your brain begins to decline in skills after 30 - younger than expected. Time to break out the crossword puzzles and orienteering weekends to build up some brain muscle!

Which brings me to an interesting question: can you improve yourself with training? Brains are turning out to be more plastic all the time - even adult brains! If I keep playing Go and join scrabble tournaments, will I get better at strategy? Can you improve your all-around spatial thinking or verbal abilities? Or does training and practice just give you specific tricks and techniques to work around your inabilities?

I would also be interested to see the scores of scientists vs artists, and writers vs. builders, etc.