Publications (4)6.59 Total impact
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ABSTRACT: In recent years, numerous studies focusing on the role of sex steroid hormones on neuropsychological functions have been reported. The influence of estrogens on cognition can be explained by the widespread presence of estrogen receptors (ERs) in limbic and cortical areas, and the modulator role of estrogens on numerous neurotransmitter systems. There is a great deal of evidence suggesting that estrogen can enhance memory processes and improve performance in working memory (WM) tasks, including face-tasks, delayed matching-to-sample (DMTS) and delayed non-matching-to-sample (DNMTS). The modulator effects exerted by estrogens are complex and may vary according to task, gender, and phase of the menstrual cycle. For many years, physiological hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle, postpartum, and menopause have been said to influence mood, cognition, and affective disorders. In addition, it has been hypothesised that estrogens have a protective role in schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Taking into account that women's performance in memory tasks can also fluctuate with circulating hormone levels across the menstrual cycle, data related to the cognitive performance in a WM task for emotional facial expressions were reported. The findings described in this review can contribute to clarifying the role of the steroid hormone estrogen in the modulation of cognitive functions, particularly memory, and indicate the possible usefulness of applying a new paradigm, employing a DNMTS task with emotional facial expressions, in studies focused on emotional WM in relevant models of nonhuman primates. Such data could also represent a useful tool in individualizing effective therapy for the treatment of disturbances linked to menstrual cycle phases and menopause in women.Reviews in the neurosciences 02/2008; 19(2-3):129-48. · 3.26 Impact Factor
- Frontiers in Human Neuroscience - FRONT HUM NEUROSCI. 01/2008;
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ABSTRACT: Sexual dysfunction in the female has been associated with a decrease in androgen levels, which can be reversed by testosterone treatment, however, bearing the risk of adverse side effects. Nasally administered testosterone could be an effective method for androgenic treatment avoiding the first-pass intestinal and hepatic metabolism and side effects. Here we examined the effects of chronic intranasal administration of testosterone on sexual behavior in female capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) that lived with male cohorts. During 8 days of baseline 10 females were observed for their sexual and non-sexual behavior without drug. They then received daily intranasal testosterone (0.24 mg per nostril, n=5 per group) or placebo gel for 5 days, followed by 5 days of wash out, followed by 5 days of daily intranasal application, whereby the animals that had received testosterone before, now received placebo and vice versa. Diverse sexual and non-sexual behaviors were scored. Blood samples were collected and analyzed for testosterone, estradiol, dihydrotestosterone and progesterone using EIAs. The results revealed an increase in sexual behavior (eyebrow raising, chest rubbing, courtship behavior, masturbation) in the females during testosterone treatment, which seemed to be prolonged even when testosterone treatment was discontinued. These behavioral results were accompanied by an increase in plasma testosterone levels. This study demonstrates the efficacy of testosterone in enhancing sexual behavior in female capuchin monkeys by means of intranasal application, which may be a useful alternative compared to other forms of administration.Behavioural Brain Research 05/2007; 179(1):33-42. · 3.33 Impact Factor
Article: A novel working memory test using capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) emotional faces Um novo teste de memória laborativa usando faces Um novo teste de memória laborativa usando faces Um novo teste de memória laborativa usando faces Um novo teste de memória laborativa usando faces Um novo teste de memória laborativa usando faces emocionais de macacos capuchinhos emocionais de macacos capuchinhos emocionais de macacos capuchinhos emocionais de macacos capuchinhos emocionais de macacos capuchinhos[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT ABSTRACT ABSTRACT ABSTRACT Several studies with humans have shown that pictures with emotional content are more easily recognizable than emotionally indifferent pictures. To our knowledge, no attempts have been made to investigate the role of emotional facial expressions to facilitate working memory in non-human primates. In this study we developed a pool of 384 pictures of capuchin monkey (Cebus apella) faces classified according to emotional valence (positive/pleasant, negative/unpleasant and neutral/indifferent). The objective was to examine whether working memory can benefit from the emotional content of visual stimuli in the delayed non-matching-to-sample task. Seven adult capuchin monkeys were tested with a computer system and touch screen. Geometric figures (control) and the co-specific faces pictures were used as stimuli. The subjects obtained a similar performance to positive, negative and neutral pictures. However, the monkeys performed above the upper confidence limits around chance to all kinds of stimulus, showing that they are able to learn the tests using emotional faces. Furthermore, the capuchin monkeys had much improved performance when using geometric figures compared to the co-specific pictures. This preliminary study yielded findings that are of relevance for the better understanding of the influences of emotional expressiveness on memory and indicate the possible usefulness of applying the paradigm adopted in this study to investigate emotional working memory in non-human primates.