The ultimate get out for men, can't hear you - and my brain is to blame!

Oh come on - it's the ultimate get out for men!...scientists say they have now discovered that women's voices are more difficult for men to listen to, and process information from, than the voices of other men.

Apparently researchers at the University of Sheffield, tracked activity in the brains of 12 men while playing recordings of different voices, and the results showed that there were startling differences in the way the brain responded to male and female sounds.

It was found that men deciphered female voices using the auditory part of the brain that processes music, while the sound of male voices engaged a simpler mechanism at the back of the brain.

Dr Michael Hunter, the lead researcher, says the female voice is more complex than the male voice, due to differences in the size and shape of the vocal cords, and larynx, between men and women, and also due to women having greater natural 'melody' in their voices.

This it seems causes a more complex range of sound frequencies than a male voice.

Therefore when a man hears a female voice, the auditory section of his brain is activated, which analyses the different sounds in order to 'read' the voice and determine the auditory face.

Whereas, he says, when men hear a male voice the part of the brain that processes the information is colloquially known as the 'mind's eye'.

Dr Hunter says this is the part of the brain where people compare their experiences to themselves, so the man is comparing his own voice to the new voice to determine it's gender.

It is probably useful information for men in trouble with their wives but may also explain why people suffering hallucinations usually hear male voices.

The findings are published in the journal NeuroImage.

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