Estrogen and Progesterone Negatively Affect Performance in the Morris Water Maze
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Hormones are cellular communicators able to change the expression of genes in specific cells with the appropriate receptors. In Warren and Juraska (1997), deficits were found in spatial ability during proestrus when dendritic spine density is the highest in the hippocampus and when levels of estrogen and progesterone are highest. The goal of this experiment was to separate the effects of estrogen from the effects of progesterone on spatial ability in the Morris water maze. A trend towards estrogen and progesterone having detrimental effects occurred. Spatial ability has been shown to change with levels of hormones and with the fluctuation of dendritic spine density that also occurs because of different levels of estrogen and progesterone.