Forget about card games and boring books, memory-improving activities may be a whole lot more pleasurable than anyone ever expected. According to some exciting new research, there is direct relationship between the frequency of sex and improved memory in women. Sorry, guys, just women.
According to a study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, there is an association between frequency of penile-vaginal intercourse and verbal recognition.
“Previous experimentally controlled rodent studies had shown a relationship between frequency of sexual experience and memory function,” the study’s corresponding author, neuroscientist Larah Maunder of McGill University, told PsyPost. “We wanted to see whether this relationship held up in humans, which is how we became interested in this topic.”
To test it they had 78 undergraduate students ages 18 to 29 take a computerized memory paradigm consisting of abstract words and neutral faces prior to filling out a survey measuring demographics, GPA, menstrual cycle phase and contraception use. They also asked question concerning intimacy, sexual behavior and exercise habits.
Their findings concluded that there was a definite association between the frequency of sex and memory recognition of abstract words but not faces; meaning that women who are getting busy in the bedroom are more likely to recognize words they have previously seen.
“This is an interesting observation that warrants further study,” Maunder continued. “Future experiments which might be able to control some of the here assessed variables more systematically might eventually be able to tell us the direct effects of varying amounts of sexual behavior on memory function.”
While the testing establishes a relationship between the two, it is unclear how that relationship works: Does sex improve memory, does better memory lead to more sex, or is there a third factor that is missing in the equation?
“As the study is correlational, it doesn’t prove cause and effect. What future studies will have to add is the origin of this finding and, indeed, whether there is a causal relationship,” Maunder further explained.
Researchers did offer the hypothesis that sex could improve memory by stimulating the creation of new neurons in the hippocampus, an area of the brain related to word memory.
“[T]he results from animal studies allow for the formulation of the hypothesis that frequent sexual intercourse may be beneficially associated with memory function in humans,” the study explains. “If a comparable biological process to that which occurs in sexually active rodents also takes place in human adults, it is possible to hypothesize that more frequent PVI [penile-vaginal intercourse] may be linked to increased neurogenesis in the hippocampus and superior hippocampus-dependent memory performance.”
While further scientific testing is needed to establish the relationship between more sex and better memory, one thing is certain — there’s no reason you couldn’t test that hypothesis on your own.
What Do YOU Think?
What are your thoughts on this study? Have you ever noticed a direct relationship between the amount of sex you are having and improved memory? What other mental benefits does sex offer?