The way that the visual centers of men and women's brains works is different, finds new research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Biology of Sex Differences. Men have greater sensitivity to fine detail and rapidly moving stimuli, but women are better at discriminating between colors.
In the brain there are high concentrations of male sex hormone (androgen) receptors throughout cerebral cortex, especially in the visual cortex which is responsible for processing images. Androgens are also responsible for controlling the development of neurons in the visual cortex during embryogenesis, meaning that males have 25% more of these neurons than females.
What job specializations selected for these differences? Hunting versus gathering?
Women and men literally do not see colors the same way.
When the volunteers were required to describe colors shown to them across the visual spectrum it became obvious that the color vision of men was shifted, and that they required a slightly longer wavelength to experience the same hue as the women. The males also had a broader range in the center of the spectrum where they were less able to discriminate between colors.
Some rare number of women are tetrachromats who have 4 cone types in their eyes and can see finer gradations of red.
One can imagine in the future when offspring genetic engineering becomes possible prospective parents will discuss whether to give their kids much greater color range or greater ability to see movements or fine details. What would be most handy: to have 20-10 vision like the late great baseball player Ted Williams. I had 20-15 vision could see at 20 feet what others could only see at 15 feet) when young and I would love to get it back again. Very handy for reading and working with small stuff.