Does Testosterone Make You Smarter?
by Benjamin Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert
Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.
There are multiple studies on the subject of testosterone. A group of university professors studied 243 male subjects, and found that testosterone affects important brain functions. Testosterone users make more mistakes on college entrance tests and life choices.
This may explain the link between testosterone and heightened brain performance. But the truth is that it is still unclear. Do these tests really make you smarter? Read on to discover the answer to this burning question.
Brain scans after testosterone treatment
A recent study revealed a significant difference in brain structure after testosterone treatment. The findings indicate that testosterone may actually make you smarter, as the hormone has a complex effect on cognitive abilities and sex differences. To find out whether testosterone treatments can make you smarter, researchers looked at the brains of transsexual men and women. They found that testosterone exposure reduced grey matter volume in two specific brain regions, the Broca's and Wernicke's areas, which are important for language processing. Furthermore, they found that a neuronal pathway linking the two areas of the brain was strengthened and increased.
Previous research shows that testosterone treatments may help improve spatial memory in postmenopausal women. But, while this study is not conclusive, there is evidence that testosterone is useful for people with Alzheimer's disease and other conditions. These studies indicate that the hormone is also useful in pathologies such as schizophrenia and depression. But before you start testosterone therapy, make sure you read the research reports carefully.
Researchers have also suggested that testosterone treatments improve memory and concentration. These results have also been shown in other studies. However, further studies need to be conducted to understand whether testosterone therapy improves cognitive performance. Further, brain scans are a crude measure of the activity in the brain, which discards valuable information. Therefore, researchers are working to find out the best way to use brain scans to predict cognitive function.
Interestingly, research has also found that men who took a single injection of testosterone were smarter than those who did not receive one. A second study revealed that those who took testosterone in conjunction with estrogen supplements improved their spatial ability in postmenopausal women. It's not clear if this result is a universal effect. This study shows that testosterone treatment affects brain function and cognitive abilities in both sexes.
Relationship between testosterone and spatial abilities
One possible mechanism for the relationship between testosterone and spatial abilities is through generalized brain influence. This influence may occur through the development of extensive neural systems. Recent studies suggest that sex role identity may explain differences in spatial abilities more accurately than biological sex alone. Sex role identity may also explain prenatal testosterone levels and interest in activities typically associated with males. But these studies are inconclusive.
Another possible mechanism is a curvilinear relationship between testosterone levels and spatial abilities. This hypothesis was tested by testing the effect of testosterone on spatial abilities in both males and females. This research found that elevated testosterone levels are associated with better spatial abilities, and this effect is also observed in older men. Further studies are needed to confirm or refute this hypothesis. In this case, extraneous testosterone administration may be beneficial.
The researchers' findings support the hypothesis that prenatal testosterone may influence spatial abilities, but these results are not conclusive. In contrast, the study also found that males perform better than females on all tasks. Males outperformed females by up to one standard deviation in spatial ability tests. In addition, individual differences within sexes were more likely to explain the variance between the two sexes than differences between sexes.
Previous studies have found that twin testosterone transfer (TTT) improves spatial ability in females, but the effect lasts for several months. In addition, women's spatial abilities appear to improve significantly after testosterone supplementation, although the exact mechanism is unclear. One study in particular showed a positive relationship between testosterone levels and mental rotation performance. These findings indicate that TTT may be beneficial for women.
Effects of testosterone on memory
Mark Spritzer, a biology professor at Middlebury College, is studying the effects of testosterone on memory. He castrated rats and gave half of them injections of testosterone. The rats were then tested on how well they remembered tasks, including walking through an octagonal structure filled with pellets on the feet. The rats with testosterone were able to complete these tasks better than those without testosterone. These results are important for understanding the effects of testosterone on human memory.
Another study found that men who were treated with an extra testosterone gel improved verbal and spatial memory. It was only when testosterone was supplemented without the aromatase inhibitors that the improvements were observed in verbal memory. While testosterone and estradiol may affect the same system in the brain, there are differences between these two hormones. Testosterone is important in many areas of human health, and replacement of this hormone has been shown to improve memory in both sexes.
One study found that testosterone improved cognitive function, including spatial memory, visual memory, and executive function. Although testosterone was not a direct result of treatment, it had an indirect effect on mental health. This is because testosterone is a neurotransmitter. However, it has no effect on the immune system. Testosterone is also associated with lower levels of cortisol and other hormones.
Although no definitive study has been done yet, some preliminary results from epidemiological studies suggest that testosterone can improve cognitive abilities in old men. One study showed that elderly men who received testosterone for three months had better spatial cognition than those who had not undergone the treatment. The other study found no difference in other cognitive domains. It is important to note that neither testosterone nor estrogen replacement affects memory directly.
Effects of testosterone on sex differences
The effects of testosterone on sex differences are well-known and widely studied, but how does this hormone work in humans? The answer relates to the sex differentiation of brain centers that control energy expenditure. The difference between males and females may have something to do with the gender-specific effect of testosterone.
In the case of males, increased testosterone increases strength and creates significant differences in sports performance. It also increases muscle mass, bone density, and circulating hemoglobin. These characteristics may influence mental and physical effects, such as motivation and aggression. For example, the higher testosterone levels in males lead to a 20% increase in running, swimming, and jumping performance. This isn't surprising since the hormone has been shown to boost athletic performance in males which is why it is used by some athletes.
One study compared males and females. Testosterone reduced fat temperature and maintained lower temperatures in men than those in females. The onset of feeding in males increased UCP1 and UCP3 mRNA levels in skeletal muscle. The results of the study suggest that testosterone may have a role in regulating the production of fat and sex differences. Further physiological studies of testosterone effects in men and women are needed.
Several studies have examined testosterone's role in sex differences. One study by Huang et al. evaluated male and female testosterone levels during early and middle puberty. Both groups showed significant gains in muscle mass and strength.
There are many studies and theories that associate testosterone with improving cognitive function which includes intelligence, memory and spatial awareness.
There is evidence that also sugests that testosterone is beneficial for both sexes, however, not all studies are 100% conclusive.