Brief Communication abstract

Nature Neuroscience 10, 1398 - 1400 (2007)
Published online: 21 October 2007 | doi:10.1038/nn1994

Sex chromosome complement regulates habit formation

Jennifer J Quinn1, Paul K Hitchcott1, Elizabeth A Umeda2, Arthur P Arnold2 & Jane R Taylor1


Sex differences in brain function and behavior are regularly attributed to gonadal hormones. Some brain sexual dimorphisms, however, are direct actions of sex chromosome genes that are not mediated by gonadal hormones. We used mice in which sex chromosome complement (XX versus XY) and gonadal sex (ovaries versus testes) were independent, and found that XX mice showed faster food-reinforced instrumental habit formation than XY mice, regardless of gonadal phenotype.

  1. Division of Molecular Psychiatry, Yale University, Connecticut Mental Health Center Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities, 34 Park Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06508, USA.
  2. Department of Physiological Science, University of California, Los Angeles, Box 951606, 4117 Life Sciences Building, Los Angeles, California 90095-1606, USA.

Correspondence to: Jane R Taylor1 e-mail: