New Norwegian study states that men have a superior sense of direction and therefore are simply much better at finding their way than women.
There is bad news for the back seat passengers: Men have better sense of direction than women.
Men are even much better to find their way actually about 50% better than women’s according to a study from Norway by a doctor and brain researcher Carl Pintzka.
As part of his doctoral dissertation on the difference in the way male and female brains works, he experimented with gender’s ability to find their way in a 3D environment and the results were shocking.
Men are faster than women at finding given targets in a certain time
“These results revealed great differences that we had simply not imagined” says Pintzka on the test results, which states that men are better to navigate and have an overall better understanding of direction than women.
It is because men are able to take shortcuts and quickly get directed at the target. “Men simply take the best alternative direction fast and go to their destination by the best possible option” states the researchers.
In the experiment there were 18 men and 18 women. They were given an hour to learn a virtual maze. Then they were put into the MRI scanner, equipped with 3D glasses and a joystick and asked to identify specific points in the maze.
The starting point for each navigation task could vary, but the maze remained always the same, and particularly to change starting points made surprise effect on the girls.
The lines show how the men (red lines) and women (blue lines) navigated the maze.
Men and women have different sense of direction
“Women and men use different strategies to find their way. Where the men trust their general sense of direction, so women are more dependent on landmarks. A woman will typically navigate by things she has seen on the road,” says Norwegian researcher.
He gives the example that women puts routes like “past the hairdresser, the street, left at the old grocery store and then straight ahead until just after the big yellow house on your left, where his staple ex-girlfriend once lived.”
In Pintzkas experiment the men were 50% faster to find the targets within the scheduled time. At the same time the scan images showed that, although both men and women used the major parts of the brain to navigate, men had much more activity in the hippocampus (spatial understanding), while women were primarily pulled to the frontal areas.
Men will be – women find things
“In ancient times men were hunters and women were gatherers. Therefore, the brains developed differently,” says researchers and elaborates: “As a matter of fact, one can say that women more easily find things in a house, while men more easily find the house.”
It also explains why men are unable to find shoes, socks, car keys, boxers or kids’ mittens although they almost stand staring directly at them. Here, the women’s brains have long maneuvered through the interior map and know exactly where everything is located.