Activating effects of androgens on cognitive performance: Causal evidence in a group of female-to-male transsexuals

Stephanie H.M. Van Goozen, Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis, Louis J.G. Gooren, Nico H. Frijda, Nanne E. Van de Poll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

102 Citations (Scopus)


It is still unclear whether sex differences in cognitive functioning are mainly due to perinatal organizing effects of sex hormones on the brain, or to activating effects in adulthood. In a group of 22 female-to-male transsexuals a battery of visuospatial and verbal ability tests was administered twice: shortly before and 3 months after the start of androgen treatment. The administering of androgens was clearly associated with an increase in spatial ability performance. In contrast, it had a deteriorating effect on verbal fluency tasks. This study offers preliminary evidence that androgens directly and quickly affect cognitive performance in females.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1153-1157
Number of pages5
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1994


  • FM transsexuals
  • activating effects
  • sex hormones
  • testosterone
  • verbal fluency
  • visuospatial ability

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