Despite the exponential increase in fear research during the last years, few studies have included female subjects in their design. The need to include females arises from the knowledge gap of mechanistic processes underlying the behavioral and neural differences observed in fear extinction. Moreover, the exact contribution of sex and hormones in relation to learning and behavior is still largely unknown. Insights from this field could be beneficial as fear-related disorders are twice as prevalent in women compared to men. Here, we review an up-to-date summary of animal and human studies in adulthood that report sex differences in fear extinction from a structural and functional approach. Furthermore, we describe how these factors could contribute to the observed sex differences in fear extinction during normal and pathological conditions.
- CROSS-NATIONAL EPIDEMIOLOGY
- EXPERIENCE-DEPENDENT MODIFICATION
- LONG-TERM POTENTIATION
- MEDIAL PREFRONTAL CORTEX
- MESSENGER-RNA EXPRESSION
- MIDBRAIN PERIAQUEDUCTAL GRAY
- STATE FUNCTIONAL CONNECTIVITY