That’s the TLDR short version.
Good summary of research, studies the impact of lower amounts in menopause on executive abilities. Long article, highly technical. E-levels are generally good for EFunction (brainpower).
It isn’t all good, there isn’t a global effect; it is domain-specific like any hormonal effect, but it also provides a protective effect against stress (good for raising small children) which is also easier to provoke (more empathy) by lowering the threshold (good for sympathizing with and loving said children).
Little notes from segments;
This correlation between estrogen level and PFC dendritic spine density and number provides further support for estrogen’s effect on executive functions through modulation of glutamatergic activity…..
Men lose testosterone sharply from about 30, women take a couple more decades to decline like that (in menopause) because our ovaries keep pumping out the good stuff (for childbearing). EF is a measure of cognitive control… (trans. women are more in control than men, but from the outside, the more intense range of emotions don’t make it seem that way).
The PFC is necessary for tasks requiring executive functions such as sustained attention, working memory, organization, and planning.
Multi-tasking mothers. IQ tests these variables but EF is actually more important in real life than IQ (important to academic life). http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ellen-galinsky/executive-function-skills_1_b_1613422.html “Diamond finds that executive functions predict children’s success as well as — if not better than — IQ tests”
This explains: Old men have more serious memory issues or executive function conditions than old women.
Human subjects studies are in accordance with the animal literature in showing that estrogen, while improving executive functioning in many healthy individuals, enhances the negative effects of stress on PFC dependent cognitive functioning…..
It isn’t all roses. Nothing hormonal ever is.
That stress-induced changes in dendritic morphology were dependent on estrogen level suggests that estrogen must amplify the stress response before these changes in morphology can be observed. Alternatively, these changes in morphology could be due to estrogen exposure alone and independent of stress….
Good to learn from mistakes in childrearing either way.
In contrast, two studies showed that estrogen may protect against the effects of chronic stress.
We feel more stress, but we cope better. This explains how we put up with stupid men.
A moment of silence for all the women in history who married dumber men.
This protective effect on neuronal integrity, [on medication] as well as the beneficial effect of estrogen in preserving executive functions, was found be time limited….. Estrogen’s effects on brain structure are not limited to menopause. During development, higher estradiol levels were associated with decreased PFC grey matter volume in pubertal girls [Peper et al., 2009], indicating that the effect of estrogen on cortical grey matter volumes is dependent on developmental and reproductive stage.
Ah, the senselessly crying days. Brings back memories. Lasts a few years until brain development catches up. Teens are really boring. In boys, it’s replaced by horniness.
… Estrogen, alone or in combination with progesterone, has been shown to be successful in correcting ovariectomy (OVX)-induced impairments in spatial working memory and recognition memory consolidation, preclinical proxies for executive function…
Spatial memory is wrongly seen as the terrain of men. That is a myth. We remember where your keys are.
Improved performance on spatial learning tasks observed in rodents after treatment with an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor or phosphodiesterase inhibitor was attributed to the observed increases in IGF-1 [Narimatsu et al., 2009; Zhao et al., 2010]. Thus, increased c-Fos expression, and therefore IGF-1 expression, may be a mechanism by which estrogen supports executive function.
Simply, menopause temporarily screws our brain over by making it act more male.
Women hate it so much they take meds.
…BDNF, a neurotrophin involved in synaptic plasticity, neuronal survival, learning, and memory, is important in estrogen’s modulation of PFC dependent cognitive processes….
I’ve posted enough studies about sex differences to wind up the feminists, I figured it would only be fair to post one that pisses off the misogynists (who see all women as inferior). There is a common myth spread that despite the higher average IQ of women (we have less retards dragging it down), our female hormones make us dumber and somehow intellect (executive function) is connected in a positive way only to ‘male’ hormones……….. That would be 100% bullshit, but they suffer from confirmation bias and never once look up the effect of female hormones on brainpower, despite their supposed brains and self-proclaimed greater intellectual curiosity. A high-T brain, as in SBCohen’s masculinized brain, is autistic. The majority of autistics are disabled. Asperger’s has no causal connection with genius (see other post). Pipe down. If you need to be an extreme of either sex, for IQ, it’s better to be a woman (hence the lower rate of retardation). These are facts.
It’s one of the empty claims of testosterone supplementation (their verbal IQ goes out the window and the meat-head stereotype happens) that it boosts brainpower (nootropic), when it actually acts as a nerve stimulant (like caffeine), their wrong-headed notion implies it’s as if ‘female’ hormones are poison. Estrogen in particular, being ‘toxic’ (in healthy amounts for males). About that…
… Studies in preclinical models have demonstrated the effects of estrogen on neurotransmitter levels and on structural morphology in the PFC. More recently, preclinical and clinical studies have examined estrogen’s effects in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), an area of the PFC critical in focused attention and working memory….
A little of the other is healthy in humans. T in women, E in men. It’s all good.
The facts are out there if you bloody check.
Sweeping statements don’t apply to neuroscience. No one is dumb or smart by the mere virtue of their sex. Look up variance in social science sometime. If you can handle those hard numbery things jack-hammering your faux sense of superiority.