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Sex Differences in the Central Nervous System - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128021149, 9780128021989

Sex Differences in the Central Nervous System

1st Edition

Author: Rebecca M. Shansky
Hardcover ISBN: 9780128021149
eBook ISBN: 9780128021989
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 14th September 2015
Page Count: 428
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Sex Differences in the Central Nervous System offers a comprehensive examination of the current state of sex differences research, from both the basic science and clinical research perspectives. Given the current NIH directive that funded preclinical research must consider both females and males, this topic is of interest to an increasing percentage of the neuroscience research population.

The volume serves as an invaluable resource, offering coverage of a wide range of topics: sex differences in cognition, learning, and memory, sex hormone signaling mechanisms, neuroimmune interactions, epigenetics, social behavior, neurologic disease, psychological disorders, and stress. Discussions of research in both animal models and human patient populations are included.

Key Features

  • Details how sex hormones have widespread effects on the nervous system and influence the way males and females function
  • Assists readers in determining how sex impacts their research and practice, and assists in determining how to adjust research programs to incorporate sex influences
  • Includes discussions of research in both animal models and human patient populations, and at various developmental stages
  • Features revised and updated chapters by leaders in the field around the globe—the broadest, most expert coverage available


Basic/clinical researchers and advanced students in neuroendocrinology and behavioral neuroscience, as well as neuroscientists working in areas impacted by sex differences

Table of Contents

  • List of Contributors
  • Chapter 1: Sex Differences in Immunity and Inflammation: Implications for Brain and Behavior
    • Abstract
    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Sex-dependent baseline differences in immune functioning and response
    • 3. Sex-dependent differences within the central nervous system
    • 4. Mechanisms of sex-dependent immune activity
    • 5. Consequences of sex differences within central nervous system trauma and disease
    • 6. Conclusions
    • Acknowledgment
  • Chapter 2: Molecular Mechanisms of Memory in Males and Females
    • Abstract
    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Molecular mechanisms underlying memory formation
    • 3. Conclusions
  • Chapter 3: Sex Differences in Anxiety Disorders: Gonadal Hormone Interactions with Pathophysiology, Neurobiology, and Treatment
    • Abstract
    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Sex differences in anxiety disorders
    • 3. Neurobiology of fear extinction
    • 4. Sex differences in fear extinction
    • 5. Estrogen
    • 6. Other gonadal hormones
    • 7. Conclusions
    • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 4: Sex Differences in the Social Behavior Network and Mesolimbic Dopamine System
    • Abstract
    • 1. Introduction to sex differences in social behavior and the importance of sex-specific responses in neural circuitry
    • 2. The social behavior network and sex differences in social behavior
    • 3. The mesolimbic dopamine system
    • 4. Connectivity between social behavior network and the mesolimbic dopamine system
    • 5. Conclusions
    • Acknowledgment
  • Chapter 5: Sexual Dimorphisms in Psychosis Risk: A Neurodevelopmental Perspective
    • Abstract
    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Theoretical conceptualizations
    • 3. Sex differences in clinical phenomenology and functioning
    • 4. Sex differences in cognition
    • 5. Sex differences in other neurobiological precursors
    • 6. Conclusions
  • Chapter 6: Sex Differences and Addiction
    • Abstract
    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Sex differences in addiction in humans
    • 3. Sex differences in addiction in preclinical studies
    • 4. Sex differences in the mechanisms of addiction
    • 5. Sex differences in preclinical research
    • 6. New animal models to study addiction are needed
    • 7. Conclusions
    • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 7: Stress and Emotional Learning in Humans: Evidence for Sex Differences
    • Abstract
    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Episodic memory
    • 3. Fear conditioning
    • 4. General conclusions and suggestions for future work
    • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 8: Biological Underpinnings of Sex Differences in Eating Disorders
    • Abstract
    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Behavior genetics: sex-differentiated genetic risk for eating pathology
    • 3. Gonadal hormones and sex-differentiated risk for eating pathology
    • 4. Appetite-regulating hormones: implications for eating pathology?
    • 5. Brain imaging: sex-differentiated risk for disordered eating
    • 6. Conclusions
  • Chapter 9: The Maternal Brain: Short- and Long-Term Effects of Reproductive Experience on Hippocampus Structure and Function in Adulthood
    • Abstract
    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Pregnancy and parturition: short-term changes in cognition and hippocampus
    • 3. Long-term changes in cognition with aging are altered by reproductive factors and parity
    • 4. Greater endogenous ovarian hormone exposure may improve cognitive aging
    • 5. The hippocampus and Alzheimer’s disease
    • 6. Reproductive experience and susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease
    • 7. Conclusions
  • Chapter 10: Sex and the Developing Brain
    • Abstract
    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Sex determination and sexual differentiation of the brain
    • 3. The organization and activational hypothesis of sex differences in the brain and behavior
    • 4. The mechanisms of steroid-induced sexual differentiation in the rodent brain are brain region specific
    • 5. The genetics and epigenetics of sex differences in the developing brain
    • 6. Conclusions
  • Chapter 11: Presence and Absence of Sex Differences in Structure and Function of the Brain Oxytocin System: Implications for Understanding the Regulation of Social Behavior
    • Abstract
    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Sex differences in the brain OT system
    • 3. Sexually dimorphic actions of OT on behavior and neural responses
    • 4. A note on OT as a therapeutic agent in men and women – advances and precautions
    • 5. Conclusions
    • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 12: Sex Differences in Neurological Diseases
    • Abstract
    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Ischemic stroke
    • 3. Multiple sclerosis
    • 4. Epilepsy
    • 5. Conclusions
  • Chapter 13: Steroid Hormone Signaling Pathways and Sex Differences in Neuroendocrine and Behavioral Responses to Stress
    • Abstract
    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Mechanisms of steroid hormone action
    • 3. The hypothalamo–pituitary–adrenal axis
    • 4. Hormone secretory patterns
    • 5. Regulation of hormone secretion by steroid hormones
    • 6. Steroid metabolism and the regulation of the HPA axis
    • 7. The role of steroid hormones in mediating sex differences in anxiety and depression
    • 8. Conclusions
  • Chapter 14: Sex Differences in Rodent Cognitive Processing and Responses to Chronic Stress
    • Abstract
    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Chronic stress effects on learning and memory are sex dependent in adults
    • 3. Mechanisms Contributing to Sex Differences in Response to Stress
    • 4. Sex-dependent effects of stress on learning and memory across the lifespan
    • 5. Interactive effects of sex, stress, and alcohol on learning and memory
    • 6. Conclusions
  • Chapter 15: Epigenetic Sex: Gene–Environment Contributions to Brain Sex Differences and their Impact on Mental Health Risk
    • Abstract
    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Sexual differentiation of the brain
    • 3. Emergence of epigenetic research
    • 4. Conclusions
  • Subject Index


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© Academic Press 2015
14th September 2015
Academic Press
Hardcover ISBN:
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About the Author

Rebecca M. Shansky

Dr. Shansky serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Northeastern University. She received her PhD in Neurobiology from Yale University, and her research focuses on neural connections and sex differences impact how circuits process fear and respond to stress. She has 15 years’ experience in the field of sex differences, has authored many peer- reviewed primary research articles and reviews on the subject, has current NIH funding to study sex-specific neuroanatomical markers of vulnerability in PTSD, received the 2008 “Young Investigator Award” from the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences, and serves as reviewer for numerous journals and an Editorial Board Member for Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Psychology, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA

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