Why men can't remember anniversaries?

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London, Jul 20 (UNI) Oops ! He forgot your birthday again. Well do not blame his memory for this innocent forgetfulness as the the reason behind it is down in the genes.

While men may fail to match a woman's ability to remember the date of an anniversary, they are better at storing a seemingly endless cache of facts and figures and all this is because of genetic differences.

Researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, have found that males use different genes from females when making the new connections in the brain that are needed to create long-term memories.

They believe this might explain why men are far better at remembering ''tactical'' memories, such as travel directions and trivia, while women form more ''emotional'' memories such as birthdays, wedding anniversaries and details about the world around them.

Professor Peter Giese, who led the Medical Research Council- funded research , said they had identified two genes that seemed to be important for learning and making memories in males but not females.

''It is unexpected that there should be such a difference within a species, but then we have to remember that males and females are far from identical at the genetic level as males have an X and Y chromosome while females have two X chromosomes. It is conceivable that the differences we found do account for the differences in the way the memories of men and women perform in different circumstances, '' he said.

The researchers used mice to study the role that certain genes play in how long-term memories are made in males and females.

Using a series of tests such as a maze they were able to show that male mice were faster at making the spatial memories that allowed them to learn a route out of the maze.

''We see these sex differences in humans too as males and females use different strategies when it comes to remembering a route through a city, for example. In some tasks males are better than females and in other occasions females are better than males, '' Professor Giese said.

''These genetic differences could be very important in studying diseases like Alzheimer's, where memory is affected. Females are affected by Alzheimer's more than males, so it could mean the way females make memories is more vulnerable to disease.'' UNI XC ARB UCS1854

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