We study the effects of androgens and estrogens in the human brain.
We study the importance of reproductive and adrenal hormones in the human nervous system. A particular focus of our research is to understand how hormones through their interactions with the brain influence the expression of high-level cognitive functions, such as memory. We try to identify specific functions that are modulated by hormones at different stages of the life cycle, from prenatal development to old age, and to define the endocrine principles that govern how, when, and why these effects come about.
Our research ranges from studies of healthy individuals, to studies of people with endocrine conditions, to studies of people taking hormones exogenously (e.g., estrogen replacement therapy in postmenopausal women). Techniques we use to unveil hormone-behavior relationships include behavioral observations (e.g., video analysis, eye tracking), specialized tasks to measure cognitive function, neuropsychological testing, combined with genotyping and immunoassays to measure hormone levels. An on-site immunoassay lab allows us to directly quantify steroid hormones. We were one of the first labs in North America to implement the use of human saliva for the accurate measurement of bioavailable hormone levels.