Early hormones and sex differences in cognitive abilities

Sheri A. Berenbaum, Krishna Korman, Catherine Leveroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Data from a variety of nonhuman species indicate that early hormones have permanent effects on the sexual differentiation of the brain and behavior, including learning abilities. Hormones also affect the sexual differentiation of human cognitive abilities. Evidence from a variety of human clinical conditions and normal samples suggests that moderate to high levels of androgens in the prenatal and early postnatal periods facilitate the development of spatial ability. There is not enough information to determine whether early hormones influence other aspects of cognition which show sex differences, such as verbal fluency, perceptual speed, and memory. Current research is directed to understanding the behavioral and neural mechanisms underlying hormonal influences on cognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-321
Number of pages19
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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