Posted by Neharika Sabharwal on August 01, 2009

The scientists attribute the findings to the different ways in which the brains of both men and women evolved over thousands of years ago.

Men, who were traditionally hunters, chasing animals needed to be adept at viewing things afar, whereas the role of the lady entailed searching the vicinity for fruits, nuts, berries and edible roots, hence her sharp vision at close range.

Analysis for accuracy and its results
In order to gauge the accuracy of both men and women, the researchers at Hammersmith & West London College conducted a visual task.

The researchers asked a group of 48 men and women to use a laser pointer to mark the midpoint of lines on a piece of paper at different distances.

The analyses demonstrated that men were more accurate than women in marking the mid lines when the paper was placed at a distance of 100 centimeters.

On the other hand, women were more proficient in hitting the mid point with accuracy when the target was close at hand, only 50 centimeters away.

The second study
In a second study, volunteers were asked to carry out the same task using a stick rather than a laser pointer to mark the midpoint.

This time round the investigators found no significant difference between near and far, but they observed that women proved to be better than men at judging both the distances.

According to the researchers, pointing with a stick helps the brain to process distant information as if, it is in near space.

Psychologist Helen Stancey, part of the study stated, "Evidence already exists that separate pathways in the brain process visual information from near and far space. Our results suggest that the near pathway is favored in women and the far pathway is favored in men.”

She further added, "These sex differences in visual processing may be a result of our hunter-gatherer evolutionary legacy. As the predominant gatherers, women would have needed to work well in near space, whereas the prey for (predominantly male) hunters would have been in far space.”

The study appears on-line in the British Journal of Psychology.



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