Sex Differences in Working Memory
In two separate studies, sex differences in modal-specific elements of working memory were investigated by utilizing words and pictures as stimuli. Groups of men and women performed a free-recall task of words or pictures in which 20 items were presented concurrently and the number of correct items recalled was measured. Following stimulus presentation, half of the participants were presented a verbal-based distraction task. On the verbal working-memory task, performance of men and women was not significantly different in the no-distraction condition. However, in the distraction condition, women's recall was significantly lower than their performance in the no-distraction condition and men's performance in the distraction condition. These findings are consistent with previous research and point to sex differences in cognitive ability putatively resulting from functional neuroanatomical dissimilarities. On the visual working-memory task, women showed significantly greater recall than men. These findings are inconsistent with previous research and underscore the need for further research.
Harness, Ashley; Jacot, Lorri; Scherf, Shauna; White, Adam; and Warnick, Jason E., "Sex Differences in Working Memory" (2008). Faculty Publications - Behavioral Sciences. 3.