Sex differences in cognition and aging and the influence of sex hormones

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Sex differences in cognitive functioning have been consistently reported in some cognitive tasks, with varying effect sizes. The most consistent findings in healthy adults are sex differences in the areas of mental rotation and aspects of attention and verbal memory. Sex differences in the vulnerability and manifestation of several psychiatric and neurologic diseases that involve cognitive disruption provide strong justification to continue investigating the social and biologic influences that underpin sex differences in cognitive functioning across health and disease. The biologic influences are thought to include genetic and epigenetic factors, sex chromosomes, and sex hormones. Sex steroid hormones that regulate reproductive function have multiple effects on the development, maintenance, and function of the brain, including significant effects on cognitive functioning. The aim of the current chapter is to provide a theoretical review of sex differences across different cognitive domains in adulthood and aging, as well as provide an overview on the role of sex hormones in cognitive function and cognitive decline.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Clinical Neurology
EditorsMichael J. Aminoff, Francois Boller, Dick F. Swaab
Place of PublicationAmsterdam, Netherlands
PublisherElsevier BV
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9780444641236
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameHandbook of Clinical Neurology
ISSN (Print)0072-9752
ISSN (Electronic)2212-4152


  • Aging
  • Attention
  • Cognition
  • Memory
  • Sex differences
  • Sex hormones

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