An almond-shaped cluster of neurons that processes experiences such as fear and aggression hooks up to contrasting brain functions in men and women at rest, the new research shows.

For men, the cluster “talks with” brain regions that help them respond to sensors for what’s going on outside the body, such as the visual cortex and an area that co-ordinates motor actions.

For women, the cluster communicates with brain regions that help them respond to sensors inside the body. These areas tune in to and regulate women’s hormones, heart rate, blood pressure, digestion and respiration.