The results of a study, published in the journal Current Biology, may point to how subtle changes in the brain’s circuitry dictate differences in behaviour between males and females.
The researchers show that male brains, at least in nematodes, will suppress the ability to locate food in order to focus on finding a mate.
Douglas Portman, an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Genetics and Center for Neural Development and Disease at the University of Rochester:
“These findings point to basic biological mechanisms that may not only help explain some differences in behaviour between males and females, but why different sexes may be more susceptible to certain neurological disorders.”
The findings were made in experiments involving C. elegans, a microscopic roundworm that has long been used by researchers to understand fundamental mechanisms in biology.
Many of the discoveries made using C. elegans apply throughout the animal kingdom and this research has led to a broader understanding of human biology.
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