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Men and Women Show Surprising Differences in Seeing Motion

By August 24, 2018No Comments

Humans’ ability to notice moving objects has always been a useful skill, from avoiding an animal predator in ancient times to crossing a busy street in the modern world.

That evolutionary success attests to the importance of visual motion processing, and why there may be specialized regions of the brain specifically dedicated to this function,researchers say.  To shed light on how neurons respond in these regions, researchers can look for small differences in motion perception among groups of people.

One of those perceptual differences may be between the sexes.

In an article published Aug. 16 in Current Biology, a University of Washington-led team of researchers says that on average, men pick up on visual motion significantly faster than women do.

The study, which involved more than 250 adult men and women, shows that both males and females are good at reporting whether black and white bars on a screen are moving to the left or to the right — requiring only a tenth of a second and often much less to make the right call. But, compared to men, women regularly took about 25 to 75 percent longer.