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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2018 Apr;49:95-98. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2018.01.007. Epub 2018 Feb 2.

Sex differences in behavioral strategies: avoiding interpretational pitfalls.

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Department of Psychology, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Electronic address:


Despite ample evidence for sex differences in brain structure and function, our understanding of the neurobiological basis of behavior comes almost exclusively from male animals. As neuroscientists move to comply with recent NIH mandates that biomedical researchers include both sexes in their studies, the ways we interpret outcomes in classic rodent behavioral models deserve closer scrutiny and more nuanced evaluation. In this mini-review, we highlight recent sex differences papers in learning, decision-making, and spatial navigation paradigms that underscore the distinctions between cognitive capabilities versus behavioral strategies that may confer unique benefits to males and females.


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