Why sex matters for neuroscience

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2006 Jun;7(6):477-84. doi: 10.1038/nrn1909.


A rapidly burgeoning literature documents copious sex influences on brain anatomy, chemistry and function. This article highlights some of the more intriguing recent discoveries and their implications. Consideration of the effects of sex can help to explain seemingly contradictory findings. Research into sex influences is mandatory to fully understand a host of brain disorders with sex differences in their incidence and/or nature. The striking quantity and diversity of sex-related influences on brain function indicate that the still widespread assumption that sex influences are negligible cannot be justified, and probably retards progress in our field.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / physiology
  • Memory / physiology
  • Neurosciences*
  • Serotonin / biosynthesis
  • Sex Factors


  • Serotonin