Hormones maintaining chemical levels in the bloodstream seem to perform more functions than previously thought. A latest research undertaken by the Concordia University suggests that hormones are linked with attention and learning. Claimed to be a novel investigation, researchers highlighted the probable direct effect of hormone on mature brain structures.
Experts supposedly demonstrated that hormone on mature brain structures are correlated with the inability to pay attention and learn. It is known that while ovulating women have high estrogen levels. So these high levels may interfere with women’s ability to pay attention. The research was initiated on rodents. Experiments on various species seemingly showed latent inhibition as a hallmark in learning to interact in an environment.
Wayne Brake, an associate professor at Concordia’s Center for Studies in Behavioural Neurobiology and senior author, remarked, “Although estrogen is known to play a significant role in learning and memory, there has been no clear consensus on its effect. Our findings, using a well-established model of learning called latent inhibition, shows conclusively that high estrogen levels inhibit the cognitive ability in female rodents.”
While conducting the Brake protocol, rats were subjected to a pre-exposure phase during which they were repeatedly exposed to a tone, with no consequence. As these rats got used to this tone they began ignoring it. The test dynamics apparently altered and another stimulus was associated to the tone. Scientists found that rats with low levels of estrogen quickly learned that the tone was associated with the new stimulus. But those with higher levels of estrogen took longer to form this memory. This effect was observed by the experts in adult female rats. It was concluded that estrogen directly affects the brain by possibly interfering with its signaling molecules.
The research was published in the journal Brain and Cognition.