Control of masculinization of the brain and behavior

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2011 Feb;21(1):116-23. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2010.09.014. Epub 2010 Oct 20.


Sex steroid hormones exert a profound influence on the sexual differentiation and function of the neural circuits that mediate dimorphic behaviors. Both estrogen and testosterone are essential for male typical behaviors in many species. Recent studies with genetically modified mice provide important new insights into the logic whereby these two hormones coordinate the display of sexually dimorphic behaviors: estrogen sets up the masculine repertoire of sexual and territorial behaviors and testosterone controls the extent of these male displays.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Estrogens / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Sex Differentiation / physiology*
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Testosterone / metabolism*


  • Estrogens
  • Testosterone