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Men, women process feelings differently

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WASHINGTON — Swiss researchers have revealed an alternative of how men and women’s brain work differently as it has long been said that both brains is wired in a different way.

A large- scale study by a research team at the University of Basel focused on deciding the gender-dependent relationship between feelings, memory performance and brain activity.

With the help of 3,398 test subjects from four sub-trials, the researchers were able to demonstrate that females rated emotional image content – particularly negative content – as more emotionally stimulating than their male partners did.

In the case of natural images, however, there were no gender-related differences in emotional appraisal. In a consequent memory test, female participants could freely recall fundamentally a larger number of pictures than the male participants.

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Surprisingly however, women had a specific preference over men when reviewing positive pictures. “This would suggest that gender-dependent differences in emotional processing and memory are due to different mechanisms,” says study leader Dr Annette Milnik.

Using fMRI information from 696 test subjects, the researchers were also able to show that stronger appraisal of negative emotional image content by the female participants is connected to expanded brain action in motoric regions. The result would support the common belief that women were more sincerely expressive than men, clarified Dr Klara Spalek, lead author of the study.

This study is important, because many neuropsychiatric diseases also show gender-related differences.

The results will be published in the latest issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

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Men also suffer from post-sex sadness

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Even men feel sad after having sex owing to several reasons, according to a recent study which found that men suffer from Postcoital Dysphoria (PCD) which results in sadness, tearfulness or irritability following sex.

“The study breaks down the results of an international anonymous online survey of 1,208 men from Australia, the USA, the UK, Russia, New Zealand, Germany and elsewhere,” said a researcher Joel Maczkowiack in the paper published by the international journal of Sex & Marital Therapy.

The study focused mostly on men in heterosexual relationships, and all of the sexual relationships were consensual.

Co-author Professor Robert Schweitzer said that comments from the men he surveyed included, “I feel empty, I feel unsatisfied, I don’t want to be touched, I want to be left alone.”

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Of the 1,207 men surveyed for the study, 41 per cent had experienced PCD, and 20 per cent had experienced it in the previous four weeks.

“Forty-one percent of the participants reported experiencing PCD in their lifetime with 20 percent reporting they had experienced it in the previous four weeks. Up to four percent suffered from PCD on a regular basis,” he added.

“The first three phases of the human sexual response cycle — excitement, plateau, and orgasm — have been the focus of the majority of research to date,” said Schweitzer.

Researchers said that men who participated and who had experienced sadness following sex described experiences ranging from “I don’t want to be touched and want to be left alone” to feeling unsatisfied, “annoyed and very fidgety.

“Another described feeling ’emotionless and empty’ in contrast to the men who experienced the post-coital experience positively, and used descriptors such as a ‘feeling of well-being, satisfaction, contentment’ and closeness to their partner,” he added.

“The experience of the resolution phase remains a bit of a mystery and is therefore poorly understood. It is commonly believed that males and females experience a range of positive emotions including contentment and relaxation immediately following consensual sexual activity,” he added.

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Previous studies on PCD experience found that a similar proportion of females had experienced PCD on a regular basis.
But the case with men is not well understood at the moment.

“We would speculate that the reasons are multifactorial, including both biological and psychological factors,” Schweitzer further pointed out.

Anecdotal evidence from clinical settings as well as personal accounts posted on online blogs suggested that PCD did occur amongst males and had the potential to interfere with couple interactions following sex.

With Agency Inputs

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