Routledge International Handbook of Social Neuroendocrinology
Organizational and activational effects of reproductive steroids regulate many aspects of brain function in nonhuman species, including certain cognitive functions. These actions are often exerted in a region- or pathway-specific manner in the CNS to promote reproductive objectives. Similar effects are thought to occur in human brains. Growing evidence suggests that 2 major families of hormones, estrogens and androgens, may influence cognitive and motivational processes. This chapter will briefly review findings from humans and nonhuman primates suggesting that the prefrontal cortex is an important target for estrogens and androgens. Hormonal regulation in the frontal cortex is discussed in terms of its possible adaptive significance from an evolutionary perspective.
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