Women are better at short-range focusing, says a study

If your husband accuses you of missing the bigger picture or your wife says you have no eye for detail, there may be more than an element of truth to it.

Scientists have shown that men are better at processing distant targets, while women are good at short-range focusing.

The finding reflects the way men and women’s brains evolved thousands of years ago. Hunters, traditionally the men, needed an ability to spot targets from afar.

Women, on the other hand, had to be adept at searching the area immediately within reach for fruits, nuts, berries and edible roots.

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Researchers asked 48 men and women to mark the midpoint of lines on a piece of paper with a laser pointer.

Men were more accurate than women when the target was placed at a distance of 100cm – or out of reach. When the paper was only 50cm away – within hands’ reach – the women were more accurate.

Psychologist Helen Stancey, from Hammersmith and West London College, said: ‘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 favoured in women and the far pathway is favoured in men.’ The findings are published online today in the British Journal of Psychology.

In a second study, volunteers were asked to carry out the same tasks using a stick.  This time women were significantly better than men at judging both distances.

The finding suggests that the stick provides a focal point to help the brain process distant information as if it is in near space, said the scientists.

Via Daily Mail