My research program focuses on women’s health issues, sex differences in the brain, and the empirical exploration of whole body explanations of mind. All my projects involve studying how when one part of the body is altered, it affects the entire body via the response of the central nervous system. An underlying assumption is that the adult CNS is plastic and particularly responsive to circulating steroid hormones as well as experience. Convergent methods such as standard psychological tests of memory and pain response, psychophysical tests, genetic tests, steroid hormone assays, fMRI, and qualitative interviewing are used to explore CNS changes with prophylactic oophorectomy, cutting of the genitalia, and the menstrual cycle.

Sex and the Brain

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