Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:


Puberty reverses sex differences in learning

Adult male rodents have long been known to show stronger hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) and learning than females. Le et al. find that this sex difference is reversed in pre-pubescent animals, and identify a female-specific mechanism that increases LTP threshold and decreases spatial memory in females after puberty.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Fig. 1: Schematic summary of the main results from Le et al.


  1. Gruene, T. M., Flick, K., Stefano, A., Shea, S. D. & Shansky, R. M. eLife 4, e11352 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Tronson, N. C. & Keiser, A. A. Trends Neurosci. 42, 680–692 (2019).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Chai, X. J. & Jacobs, L. F. Behav. Brain Res. 208, 336–342 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Bettis, T. J. & Jacobs, L. F. Behav. Processes 82, 249–255 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Wang, W. et al. J. Neurosci. 38, 7935–7951 (2018).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Kight, K. & McCarthy, M. Biol. Sex Differ. 11, 30 (2020).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Raznahan, A. & Disteche, C. M. Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 120, 28–47 (2021).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Le, A. A. et al. Nat. Neurosci. (2011).

  9. Hyer, M. M. et al. Neurobiol. Stress 14, 100303 (2021).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Gogos, A., Sbisa, A., Witkamp, D. & van den Buuse, M. Eur. J. Neurosci. 52, 2614–2626 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Ferretti, M. T. et al. Nat. Rev. Neurol. 14, 457–469 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Kornfield, S. L., Hantsoo, L. & Epperson, C. N. Curr. Psychiatry Rep. 20, 39 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Natalie C. Tronson.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Tronson, N.C. Puberty reverses sex differences in learning. Nat Neurosci 25, 134–135 (2022).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing