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Actas Esp Psiquiatr. 2006 Nov-Dec;34(6):408-15.

[Gender differences in cognitive functions and influence of sex hormones].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

Institut Clínic de Neurociencias, Servicio de Psiquiatría y Psicología Clínica, Hospital Clínic, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona.



To review scientific evidence on gender differences in cognitive functions and influence of sex hormones on cognitive performance.


Systematical search of related studies identified in Medline.


Women outperform men on verbal fluency, perceptual speed tasks, fine motor skills, verbal memory and verbal learning. Men outperform women on visuospatial ability, mathematical problem solving and visual memory. No gender differences on attention and working memory are found. Researchers distinguish four methods to investigate hormonal influence on cognitive performance: a) patient with hormonal disorders; b) neuroimaging in individuals during hormone administration; c) in women during different phases of menstrual cycle, and d) in patients receiving hormonal treatment (idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, postmenopausal women and transsexuals). The findings mostly suggest an influence of sex hormones on some cognitive functions, but they are not conclusive because of limitations and scarcity of the studies.


There are gender differences on cognitive functions. Sex hormones seem to influence cognitive performance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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