Gerianne Alexander

Gerianne Alexander
Texas A&M University | TAMU · Department of Psychology

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Introduction
Skills and Expertise
Research
Research items (69)
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This paper is a celebration of the frontiers of science. Goodenough, the maestro who transformed energy usage and technology through the invention of the lithium ion battery, opens the programme, reflecting on the ultimate limits of battery technology. This applied theme continues through the subsequent pieces on energy related topics (the sodium i...
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Adolescents and adults show preferences for male and female body shapes consistent with evolutionary theories of reproductive fitness and mate selection. However, when these preferences for females with narrow waists (i.e., 0.7 waist-to-hip ratio) and men with broad shoulders (i.e., mesomorphic body shape) emerge during the lifespan is largely unkn...
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Research on psychopathology and experimental studies of sleep restriction support a relationship between sleep disruption and both internalizing and externalizing disorders. The objective of the current study was to extend this research by examining sleep, impulsivity, antisocial personality traits, and internalizing traits in a university sample....
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Despite strong evidence linking sleep to developmental outcomes, the longitudinal relationship between sleep and emotional wellbeing remains largely unknown. To address this gap in our knowledge, the current study examined sleep in infancy, measured via actigraphy, as a predictor of social-emotional problems in toddlers. A total of 47 children (29...
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Converging evidence from over 40 years of behavioral research indicates that higher testicular androgens in prenatal life and at puberty contribute to the masculinization of human behavior. However, the behavioral significance of the transient activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis in early postnatal life remains largely unknow...
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Researchers have typically reported relatively greater preferences for infants among females than among males, though this varies somewhat across samples and age groups. The mechanism by which this sex difference occurs is not well understood and many studies rely on participants' self-reported preferences rather than measuring motivated behavior o...
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The objective of the current study was to investigate the relationship between testosterone collected at 3-4 months of age and sex-linked disorder-relevant behaviors in the second year of life. Eighty-four children participated at 3-4 (when salivary testosterone levels were obtained and second to fourth digit ratios were measured) and 18-24 months...
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Previous research has shown an association between eye contact and prenatal testosterone measured in amniocenteses samples. The purpose of this study was to test the association between eye contact and prenatal androgen action measured via second to fourth digit ratios (2D:4D ratios), and to explore the relationship between eye contact and postnata...
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Sex-linked behaviors in infancy have generated a great deal of interest, in part because they offer a way of assessing the extent to which sexually dimorphic behaviors exist before extensive social and educational experiences. This article reviews sex differences in basic and sensory processes, social behavior, and cognitive behavior that have been...
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The hypothesis that stronger preferences for active play styles contribute to stronger preferences for male-typical toys was examined in 47 boys and 37 girls at 19-months of age using ambulatory monitoring technology (i.e., actigraphy) to measure activity levels during contact with male-typical, female-typical, and gender-neutral toys. Digit ratios...
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A growing number of sex differences in infancy have been reported. One task on which they have been observed reliably is the event-mapping task. In event mapping, infants view an occlusion event involving 1 or 2 objects, the occluder is removed, and then infants see 1 object. Typically, boys are more likely than girls to detect an inconsistency bet...
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Researchers investigating the role of biological factors in the development and maintenance of interest in uncommitted sexual activity (i.e., sociosexuality) have reported that greater prenatal androgen action in women, as inferred by the ratio of the 2nd to 4th digit, is associated with greater interest in uncommitted sexual relationships, as meas...
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Testosterone was assayed in the saliva of 32 female and 42 male 3-5 month old infants, and the lengths of their finger segments between flexion creases were measured. While expected sex differences were identified in the finger measures, these sex differences were not correlated with salivary testosterone in either sex.
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Recent research showing associations between behavior and postnatal testosterone levels in male infants has suggested that the transient activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in early infancy may influence the expression of gender phenotypes in later development (i.e., the postnatal hormone hypothesis). As a further test of the rela...
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Infants' ability to represent objects has received significant attention from the developmental research community. With the advent of eye-tracking technology, detailed analysis of infants' looking patterns during object occlusion have revealed much about the nature of infants' representations. The current study continues this research by analyzing...
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The physiological significance of hormonal changes in early postnatal life is emerging, but the behavioral significance in humans is unknown. As a first test of the relationship between hormones and behavior in early infancy we measured digit ratios and salivary hormone levels in forty-one male and female infants (3-4 months of age) who watched a v...
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To identify the neural substrate of self-regulatory control in children and adults with Tourette syndrome (TS). We used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study the neural correlates of cognitive self-regulation during the Simon task. Forty-two people from The Tic Disorder Specialty Clinic who met the Diagnostic and Stati...
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Subject PI demonstrated superior memory using a variant of a Method of Loci (MOL) technique to recite the first digits of the mathematical constant pi to more than 2(16) decimal places. We report preliminary behavioral, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and brain volumetric data from PI. fMRI data collected while PI recited the first 54...
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An individual's reproductive potential appears to influence response to attractive faces of the opposite sex. Otherwise, relatively little is known about the characteristics of the adult observer that may influence his or her affective evaluation of male and female faces. An untested hypothesis (based on the proposed role of attractive faces in mat...
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Evidence indicating that sex-linked toy preferences exist in two nonhuman primate species support the hypothesis that developmental sex differences such as those observed in children's object preferences are shaped in part by inborn factors. If so, then preferences for sex-linked toys may emerge in children before any self-awareness of gender ident...
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We are thrilled to have independent confirmation of our finding (Alexander & Hines, 2002) that non-human primates show preferences for sex-typed toys similar to those seen in human children. As we said in our 2002 report, “monkeys show sex differences in toy preferences similar to those documented previously in children…. providing additional suppo...
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The relative contribution of gender labels and play styles (masculine or feminine) in playmate selection was evaluated in 60 children between the ages of 4 and 8 years using a novel interview measure. In the interview, when targets' gender labels and targets' play styles were presented as independent dimensions, children showed predicted sex differ...
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Borderline personality is diagnosed in clinical settings three times more often in women than in men, and symptom severity in women appears sensitive to circulating sex steroid levels. In non-human mammals, prenatal hormones contribute to the development of sex-linked behavior and their responsiveness to postnatal hormones. Therefore, this study ex...
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A novel version of the Mental Rotations Test (MRT) that alternated the standard block figures with three-dimensional human figures was administered to 99 men and 129 women. Women and men differed predictably in their retrospective reports of childhood play and digit ratios, a putative measure of prenatal androgen action. Compared to the block figur...
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The second to fourth (2D:4D) digit ratio, a sexually dimorphic, phenotypic characteristic putatively associated with perinatal androgen action, has been used to evaluate the hypothesized relation between prenatal hormonal factors and a variety of sexually dimorphic behaviors, including sex-linked psychopathology. Smaller digit ratios, suggestive of...
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Eye movements were monitored in 16 women and 20 men during completion of a standard diagram-based test of mental rotation ability to provide measures of cognitive function not requiring conscious, decisional processes. Overall, women and men allocated visual attention during task performance in very similar, systematic ways. However, consistent wit...
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Eye-tracking technology was used to monitor eye-movements in 64 adults (age range, 18-22 years) during simultaneous presentation of "masculine" and "feminine" toys. Women and men who showed more visual fixations on male-typical toys compared to female-typical toys had significantly better targeting ability and smaller (i.e., more masculine) digit r...
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The present study was designed to delineate further the female advantage in location memory by testing memory for faces that varied in their emotional expressions. A female advantage in face location was found, consistent with the implicit assumption that a female advantage in location memory is not dependent on the nature of the stimulus. However,...
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Procedural learning and memory systems likely comprise several skills that are differentially affected by various illnesses of the central nervous system, suggesting their relative functional independence and reliance on differing neural circuits. Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (GTS) is a movement disorder that involves disturbances in the structur...
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The etiology of Tourette syndrome (TS) involves disturbances in the structure and function of the basal ganglia. The basal ganglia mediate habit learning. To study habit learning in persons with TS. Patients with TS were compared with normal controls in performance on a probabilistic classification, or habit-learning task (weather prediction). Univ...
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The hypothesis that prenatal masculinization of the brain increases risk of tic disorders in postnatal life was tested by measuring gender and gender role behavior in 89 children and adults with a clinical diagnosis of Tourette syndrome or obsessive compulsive disorder and 67 healthy, unaffected children and adults. Consistent with this hypothesis,...
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To examine the performance of a self-report diary to assess psychosexual function in hypogonadal men, 2 groups of eugonadal men and 2 groups of hypogonadal men were asked to record and score parameters for sexual desire, sexual enjoyment, sexual performance, sexual activity, and positive and negative moods daily for 7 days before a clinic visit (da...
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Large sex differences in children's toy preferences are attributed to gender group identification and social learning. The proposal outlined in this paper is that contemporary conceptual categories of "masculine" or "feminine" toys are also influenced by evolved perceptual categories of male-preferred and female-preferred objects. Research on child...
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A significant number of children undergoing anesthesia and surgery exhibit new-onset sleep-related problems postoperatively. The aim of this longitudinal cohort study was to expand previous research in this area by using a new objective technology. This study compared children undergoing general anesthesia and outpatient surgery (n = 92) to a commu...
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Sex differences in children's toy preferences are thought by many to arise from gender socialization. However, evidence from patients with endocrine disorders suggests that biological factors during early development (e.g., levels of androgens) are influential. In this study, we found that vervet monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops sabaeus) show sex di...
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The Stroop and Simon tasks typify a class of interference effects in which the introduction of task-irrelevant stimulus characteristics robustly slows reaction times. Behavioral studies have not succeeded in determining whether the neural basis for the resolution of these interference effects during successful task performance is similar or differe...
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The Stroop and Simon tasks typify a class of interference effects in which the introduction of task-irrelevant stimulus characteristics robustly slows reaction times. Behavioral studies have not succeeded in determining whether the neural basis for the resolution of these interference effects during successful task performance is similar or differe...
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Mothers actively ascribe intention to the behavior of infants. Mothers also tailor their responses to infant behavior based on conceptions of how each response will influence later behavior. Fears of spoiling an infant may influence a mother's pattern of responsiveness. Sixty-eight at-risk African American mothers completed questionnaires assessing...
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Five fused dichotic word tasks measured perceptual asymmetry in 30 women at 4 weekly intervals. The five tasks varied according to whether the stimuli presented were word-word pairs or nonsense word-pairs, or whether they consisted of neutral words paired with positive emotion-evoking words (e.g. hug-tug), neutral words paired with negative emotion...
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Memory for object location relative both to veridical center (left versus right visual hemispace) and to eccentricity (central versus peripheral objects) was measured in 26 males and 25 females using the Silverman and Eals Location Memory Task. A subset of participants (17 males and 13 females) also completed a measure of implicit learning, the mir...
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Every year, millions of patients receive sedatives for reduction of anxiety before surgery, but there is little objective data on the effect of this treatment on postoperative outcomes. To address this issue, the effects of benzodiazepine administration were evaluated in women undergoing abdominal surgery. Patients were randomized to receive 1 mg o...
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In a variety of mammalian species, prenatal androgens organize brain structures and functions that are later activated by steroid hormones in postnatal life. In humans, studies of individuals with typical and atypical development suggest that sex differences in reproductive and nonreproductive behavior derive in part from similar prenatal and postn...
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To determine whether psychological variables such as preoperative anxiety can serve as predictors for the postoperative pain response. The study sample included women who underwent elective abdominal hysterectomy (n=53). Two weeks prior to surgery, characteristics such as trait anxiety, coping style, and perceived stress were evaluated. Throughout...
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The minimum time interval between administration of oral midazolam and separation of children from their parents that ensures good anterograde amnesia has not been previously determined. This is of particular importance in a busy operating room setting where schedule delays secondary to midazolam administration may not be tolerated. Children (n = 1...
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Previously, effects of preoperative sedatives were assessed mainly with respect to preoperative outcomes such as anxiety and compliance. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the effects of preoperative sedatives on postoperative psychological and clinical recovery. Patients undergoing general anesthesia and outpatient surgery were enro...
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The relationship between sexual behavior and pain sensitivity was assessed in 27 heterosexual men and 20 heterosexual women. Sexual behavior measures included sexual motivation and ratings of subjective sexual arousal to and enjoyment of an auditory stimulus. Pain sensitivity measures were pain threshold and pain tolerance in a cold pressor task. P...
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On alternating days, adult male Long–Evans rats implanted with unilateral cannulae in the medial preoptic area (MPOA) received intracerebral injections of testosterone (0.05, 0.1 or 0.2 μg/0.5 μl), or saline immediately prior to confinement for 30 min to one of two compartments of a place preference apparatus. All rats received 8 days of pairings (...
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Previous evidence indicates that peripheral and intranucleus accumbens injections of testosterone have rewarding effects in male rats as measured in a conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm. The present study investigated the neurochemical bases of the rewarding properties of testosterone by examining the effect of peripheral and intranucleus...
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Assessed sex-typed cognitive abilities in 33 hypogonadal men receiving testosterone replacement therapy, 10 eugonadal men receiving testosterone in a male contraceptive clinical trial, and 19 eugonadal men not administered testosterone. Prior to and following hormone administration, Ss completed 4 tests measuring visuospatial ability, 3 tests measu...
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Mood and response to auditory sexual stimuli were assessed in 33 hypogonadal men receiving testosterone (T) replacement therapy, 10 eugonadal men receiving T in a male contraceptive clinical trial, and 19 eugonadal men not administered T. Prior to and after 6 weeks of hormone administration, men completed a mood questionnaire, rated sexual arousal...
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Mood and response to auditory sexual stimuli were assessed in 33 hypogonadal men receiving testosterone (T) replacement therapy, 10 eugonadal men receiving T in a male contraceptive clinical trial, and 19 eugonadal men not administered T. Prior to and after 6 weeks of hormone administration, men completed a mood questionnaire, rated sexual arousal...
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On alternating days, adult male Long-Evans rats implanted with bilateral cannulas in the nucleus accumbens received intracerebral injections of testosterone in a water-soluble cyclodextrin inclusion complex (0.125, 0.25, or 0.5 microg/0.5 microl saline) or saline immediately prior to being confined for 30 min to 1 of 2 compartments of a place-prefe...
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The effect of testosterone (T) replacement on changes in mood was studied for 60 days in 51 hypogonadal men. All patients were withdrawn from their prior T replacement for at least 6 weeks before enrollment. Of these patients, 18 received T enanthate 200 mg im every 20 days, 16 received sublingual T cyclodextrin (SLT) at a dose of 2.5 mg three time...
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To study the effects of androgen replacement therapy on muscle mass and strength and bone turnover markers in hypogonadal men, we administered sublingual testosterone (T) cyclodextrin (SLT; 5 mg, three times daily) to 67 hypogonadal men (baseline serum T, < 8.4 nmol/L) recruited from 4 centers in the U.S.: Torrance (n = 34), Durham (n = 12), New Yo...
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Male Long-Evans rats received an 8-trial training session in a spatial water maze task, followed by a unilateral posttraining intrahippocampal injection of either estradiol (1.0 microgram/0.5 microliter) or saline. Retention was tested 24 hr later, and latency to escape was used as a measure of memory. Retention test escape latencies of rats given...
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We studied and compared the pharmacokinetics and bioefficacy of two doses of sublingual testosterone cyclodextrin (SLT; 2.5 and 5.0 mg, administered three times per day) with testosterone enanthate (TE; 200 mg) given once every 20 days by im injections over a 60-day study period in 63 hypogonadal men. After SLT administration, serum testosterone (T...
Article
The relative contribution of gender labels and play styles (masculine or feminine) in playmate selection was evaluated in 60 children between the ages of 4 and 8 years using a novel interview measure. In the interview, when targets' gender labels and targets' play styles were presented as independent dimensions, children showed predicted sex differ...
Article
Evidence from mammalian species, including humans, suggests that testosterone (T) enhances motivational aspects of sexual behavior, although the mechanism by which T exerts this effect is unknown. The hypothesis that increases in plasma T have rewarding affective properties was examined. Acute elevations of plasma T were induced in intact male rats...
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The relationship between sex steroids and sexual behavior was examined in 19 oral contraceptive users. Retrospective assessment of sexual attitudes were obtained and women completed daily ratings of sexual behavior and well-being for 28 days. Plasma levels of free testosterone (T), estradiol, and progesterone were measured at weekly intervals. In a...
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Twenty-six, eugonadal men between the ages of 18 and 27 participated in this investigation of the relationship between sexual arousal, testosterone (T) levels, and the processing of sexual information. At each of the two test sessions, subjects gave a blood sample, listened to an erotic or neutral priming audiotape, and completed a dichotic listeni...
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Female undergraduates (108) volunteered for a study of hormones and sexuality, 55 of whom were oral contraceptive (OC) users. In this paper, OC users and nonusers are compared on measures of sexual attitudes and behavior, use of erotic fantasy, and gender role. In the second paper, the effects of OC on androgen levels and the relationship between a...
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The relationships between plasma free testosterone (FT) and measures of sexual attitude, sexual behavior, and gender role behavior were assessed in 55 oral contraceptive-using and 53 nonusing female undergraduates. Plasma FT and other measures of androgenicity were substantially lower in the oral contraceptive (OC) group. Correlations between FT an...
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The relationship between plasma testosterone (T) secretion and patterns of sexual behavior was examined in 18 women using oral contraceptives (OCs) and 13 nonusers matched for partner availability. Retrospective assessments of perimenstrual symptoms, sexual attitudes, and sexual experience were obtained and women completed daily ratings of the freq...
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Two prospective investigations of periodicity of sexual behavior, well-being and testosterone (T) levels in women using and not using oral contraceptives (OCs) found no relationship between daily ratings of sexual desire and well-being across one pill and menstrual cycle. T, but not estradiol or progesterone, was positively correlated with sexual d...