GLASGOW — Warning: this study may result in a collective, “NO KIDDING!” from women across the world. It’s no secret that men and women use their brains differently, and there’s a lot of research out there that backs up these claims. Now, recent research finds that women’s brains are capable of multitasking, but men…not so much.
A study published in The Royal Society reaches to this conclusion in an interesting way. Researchers asked their participants, 83 healthy individuals between 18 and 80, to walk on a treadmill. They were then asked to complete a tricky language test while walking. Infrared cameras used to watch the participants’ body movements show a difference between the way men and women swung their arms — but only while attempting the verbal test.
Neuroscientist and co-author of the study Tim Killeen explained the findings in an interview with AFP.
“When we added the verbal task, we observed that in men of all ages and women over 60, this symmetry broke down, with a reduction in right arm swing while the left arm carried on swinging normally,” he said.
The left side of the brain is believed to control the right arm as well as the language center of the brain, which is where that link comes in. When it came to men and older women, the researchers said that the language task seemed “to overwhelm the left brain to the extent that the movement of the arm on the right is reduced.”
The study did not go further into the topic or examine whether this inability to multitask also applied during other activities, but it’s safe to assume that it might. Other studies have made similar claims, such as that men are less organized than women are when they are switching between multiple tasks. It’s also possible that the ability to multitask varies depending on what kind of task is at hand.
More research could be done to know for sure, but there is without a doubt evidence in gender differences when it comes to multitasking.