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Testing Predictions from the Hunter-Gatherer Hypothesis — 1: Sex Differences in the Motor Control of Hand and Arm:

Testing Predictions from the Hunter-Gatherer Hypothesis — 1: Sex Differences in the Motor Control... Here, in the first of two reports that test predictions from the hunter-gatherer hypothesis, we focus on sex differences in motor control. Published evidence confounds the cognitive demands, the muscles used and the spatial location in which tasks are performed. To address these issues our participants used hand or arm movements to track a moving target within near space. Study 1 identified an optimal level of task difficulty for the differentiation of male and female performance and showed that women tracked better using their hands and men using their arms. Employing the optimal level of task difficulty, Study 2 replicated the findings of Study 1 and, for men, demonstrated a significant correlation between arm tracking and performance on the nonmotor sex-dimorphic Mental Rotations task. This correlation suggests that the same or related events are responsible for the development of sex differences in motor and cognitive systems. The distal (hand) muscles are controlled by the primary motor cortex via two dorsolateral corticospinal tracts whereas the proximal (arm) muscles are controlled via two ventromedial corticospinal tracts. Our findings point to possible sex differences in these two neural pathways and they are compatible with an evolutionary origin as predicted by the hunter-gatherer hypothesis. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Evolutionary Psychology SAGE

Testing Predictions from the Hunter-Gatherer Hypothesis — 1: Sex Differences in the Motor Control of Hand and Arm:

Evolutionary Psychology , Volume 5 (3): 1 – Jul 1, 2007

Testing Predictions from the Hunter-Gatherer Hypothesis — 1: Sex Differences in the Motor Control of Hand and Arm:

Evolutionary Psychology , Volume 5 (3): 1 – Jul 1, 2007

Abstract

Here, in the first of two reports that test predictions from the hunter-gatherer hypothesis, we focus on sex differences in motor control. Published evidence confounds the cognitive demands, the muscles used and the spatial location in which tasks are performed. To address these issues our participants used hand or arm movements to track a moving target within near space. Study 1 identified an optimal level of task difficulty for the differentiation of male and female performance and showed that women tracked better using their hands and men using their arms. Employing the optimal level of task difficulty, Study 2 replicated the findings of Study 1 and, for men, demonstrated a significant correlation between arm tracking and performance on the nonmotor sex-dimorphic Mental Rotations task. This correlation suggests that the same or related events are responsible for the development of sex differences in motor and cognitive systems. The distal (hand) muscles are controlled by the primary motor cortex via two dorsolateral corticospinal tracts whereas the proximal (arm) muscles are controlled via two ventromedial corticospinal tracts. Our findings point to possible sex differences in these two neural pathways and they are compatible with an evolutionary origin as predicted by the hunter-gatherer hypothesis.

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © 2022 by SAGE Publications Inc., unless otherwise noted. Manuscript content on this site is licensed under Creative Commons Licenses
ISSN
1474-7049
eISSN
1474-7049
DOI
10.1177/147470490700500313
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Here, in the first of two reports that test predictions from the hunter-gatherer hypothesis, we focus on sex differences in motor control. Published evidence confounds the cognitive demands, the muscles used and the spatial location in which tasks are performed. To address these issues our participants used hand or arm movements to track a moving target within near space. Study 1 identified an optimal level of task difficulty for the differentiation of male and female performance and showed that women tracked better using their hands and men using their arms. Employing the optimal level of task difficulty, Study 2 replicated the findings of Study 1 and, for men, demonstrated a significant correlation between arm tracking and performance on the nonmotor sex-dimorphic Mental Rotations task. This correlation suggests that the same or related events are responsible for the development of sex differences in motor and cognitive systems. The distal (hand) muscles are controlled by the primary motor cortex via two dorsolateral corticospinal tracts whereas the proximal (arm) muscles are controlled via two ventromedial corticospinal tracts. Our findings point to possible sex differences in these two neural pathways and they are compatible with an evolutionary origin as predicted by the hunter-gatherer hypothesis.

Journal

Evolutionary PsychologySAGE

Published: Jul 1, 2007

Keywords: hunter-gatherer hypothesis; sex differences; motor control; hand and arm; neural bases; near space

References