Mind eye-man-woman

Published on September 18th, 2012 | by No Artificial

Sex matters: Men Spot Cars, Women Recognize Birds Best

Men and women really do see and experience the world differently.

According to a new study from psychologists at Vanderbilt University shows that women are much better than men at recognizing living things, such as birds and men are better than women at spotting cars.

In the study, 227 participants took a test similar to the Cambridge Face Memory Task, which measures the capability to recognize faces. But instead of faces, this test measured recognition for 8 categories of objects: leaves, owls, butterflies, wading birds, mushrooms, cars, planes and motorcycles.

The contributors studied a number of images in these categories, and were then shown three pictures at a time–one from the group of images they studied and two that they haven’t seen before. Then they were asked to pick out the image that they analyzed.

The scientists found that women were much better at recognizing the images of living things they learned while men were better at finding out the vehicles.

The study participants were also asked to complete a face recognition test. The researchers found that men who were especially good at recognizing motor vehicles also were better at recognizing faces, while women who were better at identifying living things tended to be better at recognizing faces too.

“These results aren’t definitive, but they are consistent with the following story,” Vanderbilt University psychologist Isabel Gauthier, who led the study, said in a statement. “Everyone is born with a general ability to recognize objects and the capability to get really good at it. Nearly everyone becomes expert at recognizing faces, because of their importance for social interactions. Most people also develop expertise for recognizing other types of objects due to their jobs, hobbies or interests. Our culture influences which categories we become interested in, which explains the differences between men and women.”

The results were published online on Aug. 3 in the Vision Research journal in an article titled, “The Vanderbilt Expertise Test Reveals Domain-General and Domain-Specific Sex Effects in Object Recognition.”

Earlier this month, a study from the City University of New York found that men’s eyes are more sensitive to small details and moving objects, while women are more perceptive to color changes.

“As with other senses, such as hearing and the olfactory system, there are marked sex differences in vision between men and women,” researcher Israel Abramov, of the City University of New York (CUNY), said in a statement. This study has also shown that women have more sensitive ears and sniffers than men.

Other research shows that men and women also focus differently. In studies at the University of Southern California, researchers found that men are likely to center on the mouth of a person in conversation and also are more likely to be distracted by movement behind that person.
At the same time the researchers found that women tend to move their gaze between a speaker’s eyes and body, and they are more likely to be distracted by other people.

Vanderbilt News

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