About Careers MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER

Female Sex Hormones Influence Memory And Cognition

by Dr. Meenakshy Varier on September 22, 2016 at 11:51 AM
Font : A-A+

Female Sex Hormones Influence Memory And Cognition

It has been suggested that women are better at giving directions than men. This maybe due to the hormones that trigger the menstrual cycle.

"Women have sometimes reported to doctors that their memory works differently depending on which phase of the menstrual cycle they are in — even during and following pregnancy, or following menopause. This has led scientists to wonder whether estrogen and progesterone could affect memory and problem solving," says psychology professor Wayne Brake, who co-authored the study.



The research conducted by Concordia University in Montreal and published in Psychoneuroendocrinology shows that, rather than impairing memory in general, estrogen and progesterone may instead cause the brain to favor one memory system or strategy over another."

For the study, researchers tested 45 women who had regular menstrual cycles. First, participants responded to a "hormonal profile" questionnaire that gathered detailed information on their periods, past pregnancies, contraceptive and synthetic hormone intake history and general life habits.

The participants were then given a verbal memory task, such as remembering a list of words, as well as a virtual navigation task, such as finding their way through a maze in a video game, that could be solved in several ways.

At the end of the experiment, participants were debriefed on how they solved the tasks from beginning to end.

Results showed that women who were ovulating performed better on the verbal memory task. On the other hand, women tested in their pre-menstrual phase were better at solving spatial navigation tasks.

That proves that women tend to use different strategies to solve tasks — such as navigating a maze or remembering a list of words — depending on where they are in their menstrual cycle.

Essentially, the study shows that the hormonal changes women experience throughout their cycles have a broader impact than previously believed, and have significant effects on how women approach and solve problems.

"This is important scientifically. We and others have previously shown that the levels of estrogen and progesterone in rodents influence different brain regions, affecting various memory systems involved in task-solving," says Brake.

"For example, when estrogen levels are high, female rats will use one type of memory system or strategy versus another to solve a maze. This is the first study to show that this is also true for women, who solve tasks in different ways based on their hormones"

Dr. Dema Hussain, PhD graduate, the study's lead author states that these results point to an ongoing bias in scientific research. 

"Traditionally, researchers and scientists have relied on using male participants — and male rats — in studies to develop drugs and treatments for the general population. But we now know that women respond differently than men," she says.

More research is needed to deepen our understanding of the female brain, and that efforts must be made to tailor future research to improve our understanding of the effects of female sex hormones on cognition and memory.

Source: Medindia

News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Diet and Oral Health: The Sugary Connection May Become Sour
World AIDS Day 2022 - Equalize!
Test Your Knowledge on Sugar Intake and Oral Health
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Sex Facts Prostitution: Fresh Stakes in the Oldest Trade Sexual Intercourse Facts Safe Sex Top Ten Trivial Sex Facts Top Ten Sex Tips for Men Brain Exercises to Improve Memory Sex Numbers Foods to Improve Memory Power Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ) 

Most Popular on Medindia

Drug Side Effects Calculator Vent Forte (Theophylline) Hearing Loss Calculator Diaphragmatic Hernia Drug Interaction Checker Sanatogen Find a Doctor Pregnancy Confirmation Calculator How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Drug - Food Interactions
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

Sexual Problem

Consult an Expert

×

Female Sex Hormones Influence Memory And Cognition Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests