It has been confirmed in several studies that testosterone can significantly affect brain development. Following metabolism of this hormone by 5α-reductase to dihydrotestosterone, testosterone may act via androgen receptors, or after conversion by aromatase to estradiol, it may act via estrogen receptors. The parts of the brain which are changed under the influence of sex hormones are known as sexually dimorphic nuclei, especially in the preoptic area of the hypothalamus. Nevertheless, evidence suggests that testosterone also influences the structure of the hippocampus, specifically CA1 and CA3 areas of the hippocampus, as well as the amygdala. These brain areas are designed to convert information from short-term into long-term memory. In this review, we summarize the effects of testosterone on the organization of brain structures with respect to spatial cognitive abilities in small rodents.

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