Females Scan More Than Males Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Recognition-memory tests reveal individual differences in episodic memory; however, by themselves, these tests provide little information regarding the stage (or stages) in memory processing at which differences are manifested. We used eye-tracking technology, together with a recognition paradigm, to achieve a more detailed analysis of visual processing during encoding and retrieval. Although this approach may be useful for assessing differences in memory across many different populations, we focused on sex differences in face memory. Females outperformed males on recognition-memory tests, and this advantage was directly related to females' scanning behavior at encoding. Moreover, additional exposures to the faces reduced sex differences in face recognition, which suggests that males may be able to improve their recognition memory by extracting more information at encoding through increased scanning. A strategy of increased scanning at encoding may prove to be a simple way to enhance memory performance in other populations with memory impairment.

publication date

  • July 2013