Men Withdraw During Stress

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 30 (UPI) — Men tend to withdraw socially — the silent and stoic response to stress — while women show increased brain coordination during stress, U.S. researchers say.

Both men and women looked at pictures of faces while their brain activity was monitored.

The study, scheduled to be published in the Oct. 6 issue of the journal NeuroReport, finds men under acute stress showed decreased activity, not only in the fusiform face area of the brain — part of the human visual system used in facial recognition — but also decreased coordination among parts of the brain that help people interpret the emotions of the faces.

Conversely, women under stress had increased activity in the fusiform face area and increased coordination among the regions of the brain used in interpreting facial emotions compared to the control group.

“The study indicates that experiencing acute stress can affect subsequent activity and interactions in brain regions in opposite ways for males and females,” Mather says in a statement. “Under stress, men tend to withdraw socially while women seek emotional support.”

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