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Gonadal steroid hormones and emotional memory consolidation: a systematic review and meta-analysis

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 05:43 authored by Chia-Ming HsuChia-Ming Hsu, Ney, LJ, Cynthia HonanCynthia Honan, Felmingham, KL
Anxiety and stress-related disorders are more prevalent in women and associated with negative emotional memory consolidation as well as impaired fear extinction recall. Recent research has identified a role of gonadal steroid hormones in influencing emotional memories and fear extinction, however most individual studies have small samples and employed various protocols. A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted on studies that examined sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, allopregnanolone, dehydroepiandrosterone) on four aspects of memory, namely, intentional recall (k = 13), recognition memory (k = 7), intrusive memories (k = 9), and extinction recall (k = 11). The meta-analysis on natural cycling women revealed that progesterone level was positively associated with negative recall and negative intrusive memories, and this effect on intentional recall was enhanced under stress induction. Estradiol level was positively associated with extinction recall. This study reveals an important role of progesterone and estradiol in influencing emotional memory consolidation. It highlights the need to control for these hormonal effects and examine progesterone and estradiol concurrently across all menstrual phases in future emotional memory paradigms.


Publication title

Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews








School of Psychological Sciences


Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd

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The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Ox5 1Gb

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