A study from Michigan State University recently asked a group of college students to complete a series of tasks, while their brain activity was tracked with an electrode cap, according to a press release.
The study found that women who struggle with generalized anxiety disorder tended to show more brain activity, especially after making a mistake, which is the brain’s way of frantically trying to compensate for an error.
However, the study found no similar brain behavior among “high anxiety” men. While men and women performed equally well on the “simple” tasks, the study showed that women prone to anxiety problems had higher brain activity completing tasks and their performance suffered in tougher portions of the test in ways that anxiety-riddled men didn’t.
Study leader Jason Moser noted in the press release: “As a result their brains are being kind of burned out by thinking so much, which might set them up for difficulties in school. We already know that anxious kids, and especially anxious girls, have a harder time in some academic subjects such as math."