Otago neuroscientists reveal mechanism crucial to moulding male brain's Clocktower

Otago researchers have discovered that neural circuitry they previously showed was vital to triggering ovulation and maintaining fertility also plays a key role in moulding the male brain.

In new research appearing in the Journal of Neuroscience, a team led by Professor Allan Herbison shows that male-specific signalling in the Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons of new-born mice is crucial to generating a testosterone surge that occurs up to five hours after birth.

Prenatal testosterone levels influence later response to reward

Increased fetal testosterone predicted more sensitivity in the brain's reward system to positively, compared to negatively, valenced facial cues. This means that reward-related brain regions of boys with higher fetal testosterone levels respond more to positive facial emotion compared to negative facial emotion than boys who with smaller levels of fetal testosterone.