Women have better memories than men, say scientists

Women's brains function better at remembering information than men's, researchers have confirmed.

A Cambridge University study of 4407 men and women from East Anglia, southeastern England, discovered gender plays a clear difference in memory function.

In tests on participants aged between 48 to 90 years, women made an average of 5.9 fewer errors than men, regardless of age.

Education was also found to play a significant part in memory function.

Participants who left education after the age of 18 were found to make an average of 20 fewer total errors than those who left education before the age of 16.

“Although the links between sex and education and cognitive function have been explored before, this very large dataset provides striking evidence that these factors play a major role in determining how good our memory function is as we age," Dr Andrew Blackwell, Chief Scientific Officer at Cambridge University's Department of Psychiatry, said.

“Using these data, we can determine whether or not an individual’s memory function is normal or not for people of their age, sex and education level.

“A body of scientific literature has demonstrated that women typically outperform men on test of verbal function, whereas men tend to outperform women on tasks of spatial function.

"However, in this study, we used a measure of memory that is spatial and women consistently outperformed men.

“There are many possible explanations for this, including both neurobiological and environmental differences.”

Researchers hoped the findings may help scientists further understand the causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

Further research was planned and it was estimated that the final study will reach approximately 10,000 participants.

Herald Sun


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