Skip to content

    Brain & Nervous System Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    She Recalls, He Forgets: True or False?

    It All Depends on What Sort of Memory Is at Stake, Researchers Report
    By
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    Feb. 22, 2008 -- Women may have the upper hand when it comes to memory, but there is a weak link in their memory chain.

    Swedish psychology experts report that women tend to have sharper memories than men when it comes to memories based on words or faces.

    But men's memories are better for spatial information, such as recalling a route or how odd-shaped objects look from various angles.

    The researchers came to those conclusions after reviewing studies on gender and memory dating from 1974 to 2007. Those studies ranged from Europe to the U.S., Australia, and Bangladesh.

    But the findings don't mean that women have perfect memory, or that men don't remember well.

    The sex differences are "statistically rather small," write the researchers. They included Agneta Herlitz, PhD, of the Aging Research Center at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.

    Herlitz and colleagues studied the big picture, not individual differences. There are bound to be exceptions to the general patterns they saw, which are noted in February's edition of Current Directions in Psychological Science.

    (What's it like in your relationship? Tell us what you think on WebMD's Health Cafe message board.)

    Today on WebMD

    nerve damage
    Learn how this disease affects the nervous system.
    senior woman with lost expression
    Know the early warning signs.
     
    woman in art gallery
    Tips to stay smart, sharp, and focused.
    medical marijuana plant
    What is it used for?
     
    senior man
    Article
    boy hits soccer ball with head
    Slideshow
     
    red and white swirl
    Article
    marijuana plant
    ARTICLE
     
    brain illustration stroke
    Slideshow
    nerve damage
    Slideshow
     
    Alzheimers Overview
    Slideshow
    Graphic of number filled head and dna double helix
    Quiz