It's all in the wiring

Understanding men's, women's brains

Special to The Sun City PacketJune 28, 2013 

Brain balance ILLUS.jpg

300 dpi 3 col x 8.5 in / 146x216 mm / 497x734 pixels Ron Borresen color illustration of a man's exposed brain balancing sports, work and entertainment. Bradenton Herald 2006

KEYWORDS: brain balance psychiatry psychology mental health exercise whistle brains krthealthmed krtnational national juggling krteducation education school krtworld world counseling krtfitness fitness krthealth health krtmentalhealth therapy krt salud cerebro ejercicio cabeza illustration ilustracion grabado br contributor coddington borresen 2006 krt2006

RON BORRESEN — McClatchy-Tribune News Service

For many years, I have been convinced that male and female brains are different and now, Dr. Mark Gungor, a brain research expert, has provided proof-positive.

According to Dr. Gungor, the male brain is composed of small, specifically categorized boxes into which information is filed, as opposed to a female brain which is less stratified and more free-flowing. Bearing such titles as beer, sports, conversation (this one is particularly small) and favorites, these boxes are stacked and waiting to be opened. Several are identified as empty, and the box labeled emotions is the one on the bottom.

In addition, men have fewer neurons in the brain than women. This configuration of labeled boxes and fewer neurons distances emotions from information, a co-mingling feat that is mere child's play for women, and accounts for the ability of males to maintain absolute focus and absorption in the box currently opened.

I believe Dr. Gungor's research whole-heartedly and cite my soon-to-be 3-year-old grandson as the basis for my conclusion.

Until recently he was a typical toddler, seeing his neighborhood as his world, his home as his castle, and everyday household objects his toys despite his filled-to-capacity toy boxes. This was before an unsuspecting relative gave him his first Matchbox car and inadvertently opened the "automotive" box in his brain.

One car led to another, and before long, the takeover was complete. "Go-goes" rule his life and the life of his family. His waking hours are unfulfilled unless a go-go is within reach. One is usually not sufficient. He stuffs them into his tiny pockets and cries when he can't get them out. He tries to carry more than his little hands can hold and his frustration is evident when one falls to the floor. A suggestion for using a bag, box or bucket to carry his treasures is met with instant rejection.

He has quickly memorized his inventory of cars. Searching tirelessly for the missing one, he appeals with sad blue eyes and arms outstretched, "Go-go?" to anyone around. Like a good shepherd, he wants his sheep in the fold.

He is fascinated by them. He piles them up, groups them according to type, and displays them in a long line reaching from the end of the family room through the kitchen. When he tires of his small cars, he climbs on his riding cars and mimics with honking and skidding, highway driving.

Books about cars are his only reading interest. Tirelessly he searches the pages of "Cars and Trucks and Things That Go" for tiny hidden Goldbug, smiling brilliantly when he spies him. "Good Night Construction Site" has replaced the children's classic, "Good Night Moon," as his bedtime story.

Mesmerized by Disney's "Cars" movies, he knows each car by name. Clutched in tiny hands or splayed around his head, go-gos accompany him for naps and bedtime. One night at dinner, a car landed in the butter, and all we could do was laugh in startled surprise.

Typically, my grandson says little about his cars. When I mention his clustering by color or type, he ignores me prompting me to ask, "Jackson, did you hear Grandmama?" When asked about the path his cars are taking, he sloughs off an answer with a grunt or a sigh busy with his next maneuvering. As crashes occur, he says, "Uh-oh," focusing on the melee and verbally providing no further explanation.

In my lifetime, I have experienced four generations of men -- my father, my husband, my son and now my grandson. With each, I have attempted to bridge the gap between men and women in conversation whatever the topic. My endeavors in this area are well documented, but currently, I am positive that it is all in the wiring. Thanks to Dr. Gungor, I now have raised the white flag. With my grandson, I plan to sit back, relax and call tech help.

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