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date: 24 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Learning and memory can be defined as the processes by which we acquire information about our environment and experiences, to be used later in similar situations. These cognitive processes are important for behaviors crucial to survival, such as finding food and shelter, assessing risk, and behaving appropriately in social contexts. Research provides insights into how hormones influence animal and human cognition. Here, we focus on the sex hormones, which influence both learning or acquisition and memory consolidation through two mechanisms: (i) the genomic pathways, acting longer-term to modulate gene transcription, protein expression, and structural changes implicated in establishing memory traces; and (ii) rapid pathways in which receptor activation initiates cell signaling cascades and more immediate neural responses. Investigating the roles of sex hormones in learning and memory enhances our understanding of neural networks involved in different types of learning, in ways that may be applied to human health and cognition.

Keywords: Learning, memory, sex steroids, encoding, retrieval, acquisition

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