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The role of sex hormones and brain activity in risk-taking and antisocial behaviour in adolescence


   Department of Psychology


About the Project

While there are a number of reasons to hypothesise that circulating testosterone performs an important role in many risky behaviours, the findings of empirical studies remain unclear. It is likely that testosterone levels interact with other factors in the environment and may be the consequence of behaviour as well as a cause. In this project students might measure levels of circulating testosterone in saliva and examine their function in contexts such as antisocial behaviour (aggression, delinquency), risky driving behaviour, or in sports performance. This work will happen in parallel to investigating the neural mechanisms, using EEG, that may mediate circulating testosterone effects on cognition and behaviour.

Initial reading:

Rowe, R., Maughan, B., Worthman, C. M., Costello, E. J., & Angold, A. (2004). Testosterone, antisocial behavior, and social dominance in boys: Pubertal development and biosocial interaction. Biological Psychiatry, 55(5), 546-552. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2003.10.010

Duke, S. A., Balzer, B. W. R., & Steinbeck, K. S. (2014). Testosterone and Its Effects on Human Male Adolescent Mood and Behavior: A Systematic Review. Journal of Adolescent Health, 55(3), 315-322. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.05.007

Peper, J. S., Koolschijn, P. C., & Crone, E. A. (2013). Development of risk taking: contributions from adolescent testosterone and the orbito-frontal cortex. J Cogn Neurosci, 25(12), 2141-2150.

Funding Notes

Self funded or externally sponsored students only. Intakes are usually October and March annually.

NB The University has some scholarships under competition each year. More details can be found - View Website



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