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Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness
Health & Wellness



Understand Him & Her

Original article: 5 ways to understand him better

1. Be patient with his memory
The hippocampus, where initial memories are formed, occupies a smaller percent of the male brain than the female brain. So, don't take it personally.

2. Don't expect him to get hints

Men aren't as skilled at women at reading subtle emotional cues. Parts of the limbic cortex, which is involved in emotional responses, are smaller in men than in women. Men have a smaller density of neurons in areas of the temporal lobe that deal with language processing. That's why it's probably a good idea to tell him directly how you're feeling. Expecting him to infer from your hints could leave both of you scratching your heads.

3. Don't take conversation lulls personally
Men in general just aren't as verbally adept as women are. Large parts of the cortex -- the brain's outer layer that does a big part of recognizing and using subtle language cues -- are thinner in men than they are in women. Don't expect him to chatter with you on dates with the skill of a girlfriend, and don't assume he's not interested in you if he occasionally lets the conversation lapse. Think of it this way: he's simply basking in your moments of quiet companionship.

4. Appreciate his naturally upbeat nature
Male brains produce 52 percent more serotonin (the chemical that influences mood) than female brains. Men may also have an easier time rolling with life's big stresses. If he tells you he recently lost his golden lab or suffered a job loss and doesn't get all teary, it doesn't mean he's heartless; rather, he has healthy stores of serotonin in his system.

5. Don't expect his take on your relationship history to match yours
Women use the left part of the amygdala -- the part of the brain that creates emotional reactions to events -- to put memories in order by emotional strength, meaning that something emotionally important to them (like a great first date a couple of months ago) will be ordered in front of what they ate for breakfast yesterday. Men, however, use the right part of the amygdala to put memories in order. Traditionally, the right hemisphere of the brain is associated with the central action of an event, while the left hemisphere is associated with finer details.

Translation: You'll both remember your first date, but he might not remember the color of your sweater or the light rain that was falling that night. It doesn't mean he was checked out; it just means he's a guy.

Original article: 5 tips for bonding with her better

1. Pay attention to the little things
Women will see shades of meaning in small gestures, because significant regions of the cortex -- the outer layer of a brain that conducts much of its high-level computing -- are thicker in the ladies. A small act of kindness (from a kiss on the cheek to simply calling ahead to make reservations) will blow her away because she'll consider both the gesture and the thoughtfulness behind the gesture.

2. To keep up with her memory, take notes
It's a scientific fact: women remember everything. The hippocampus takes up a larger percent of the female brain than the male brain, which is good to know because it's where memories are formed. So while you remember -- maybe -- the day you met, she's recorded your first flirtation, first phone call, first date, first kiss, etc. Use electronic tools to keep up with her mighty hippocampus.

3. Follow her calm lead versus instigating fights
Women are much better at reining in her aggressive impulses than men. Female brains have a much larger orbitofrontal-to-amygdala ratio (OAR) than male brains do. That suggests women are better than guys at responding calmly to rudeness or aggression. The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is the main 'modulator' of amygdala action. So if you're at a party and someone insults you, the amygdala, which is a very primitive and old structure in human brains, will be yelling, "Kill the guy!" The OFC is the part of the brain that will say: "Consider the context; there are people around." Thus, if you want to impress her, quiet your own amygdala and behave as gracefully as she does.

4. Write her a poem... or at least a cute email
Women excel in something called verbal fluency, or being able to come up with appropriate words, given cue. In general, women's brains are wired to be more language-centric than men's. Women often know the right thing to say, send great cards and love notes, and choose words with such care.

5. Be her serotonin
Women's brains produce significantly less serotonin -- the brain chemical that helps make us happy -- than male brains do. So if she has a tough day at work, treat to her to a transfusion: try a pep talk, soothing back rub or long hug.

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