Contributions of sex, testosterone, and androgen receptor CAG repeat number to virtual Morris water maze performance

Nicole T. Nowak, Michael P. Diamond, Susan J. Land, Scott D. Moffat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The possibility that androgens contribute to the male advantage typically found on measures of spatial cognition has been investigated using a variety of approaches. To date, evidence to support the notion that androgens affect spatial cognition in healthy young adults is somewhat equivocal. The present study sought to clarify the association between testosterone (T) and spatial performance by extending measurements of androgenicity to include both measures of circulating T as well as an androgen receptor-specific genetic marker. The aims of this study were to assess the contributions of sex, T, and androgen receptor CAG repeat number (CAGr) on virtual Morris water task (vMWT) performance in a group of healthy young men and women. The hypothesis that men would outperform women on vMWT outcomes was supported. Results indicate that CAGr may interact with T to impact navigation performance and suggest that consideration of androgen receptor sensitivity is an important consideration in evaluating hormone-behavior relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-22
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Feb 5 2014


  • Androgen receptor CAG repeat
  • Sex difference
  • Spatial cognition
  • Testosterone
  • Virtual Morris water task

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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