Effects Of Hormones On Learning Performance

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As an adolescent, hormones are raging and as their brains are continuing to develop hormones play a big role in their future learning and memory. The hormonal fluctuations of adolescent stress coupled with their gonadal hormone ups and downs, impact their learning capabilities and memory retrieval. Males with the predominance of testosterone learn in a unique way and exhibit certain advantages like spatial learning over females. Females on the other hand, with the predominance of estrogen exhibit their own unique learning capabilities and styles which is all dependent on their estrous cycles, pregnancy, and postpartum. These differences between males and females have the potential of greatly impacting curriculum and teaching.
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There is a lot of evidence of sex differences in learning and memory, particularly in spatial tasks, although there are species differences.
Estrogens appear to enhance spatial learning and memory. As previous mentioned, there are sex differences in hippocampus-dependent cognition tasks, implying that there are sex hormones involved. There is sufficient evidence demonstrating that estrogen interacts with the reproductive cycle and in turn modulates hippocampal learning, memory and neurogenesis. However, the way in which estrogen effects learning and memory, from adolescence to adulthood, is dependent upon the type of estrogen, the duration, timing and dose of treatment, and the influence the effects of estrogen had on cognition and neurogenesis. There seems to be a correlation between spatial learning, estrogen and ones life cycle (age). Typically spatial learning is favorable in males, however, in terms of females spatial learning differs based on ones estrous cycle. The reason for this is because as both estradiol and progesterone fluctuate during ones estrous and menstrual cycle, each hormone contributes differently to learning and memory. In recent studies examining the relationship between estradiol and learning and memory, it was found that motherhood enhanced spatial learning and memory.
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