A hormone is a chemical messenger and is mainly synthesized within the endocrine glands, testis, and/or ovaries but can also be produced by cells having neuroendocrine function (such as the hypothalamic–adrenal pathway). Once hormones are released, they mainly travel through the bloodstream (although they can also have cell–cell communications) and attach to a specific receptor of a target cell. Depending on the receptor, the hormone will activate a certain process (gene expression, metabolic pathway, etc.). Hormones are very powerful and affect almost every function of the body (growth and development, reproduction, mood, metabolism, and so on). They interact with the brain and can produce profound effects on behavior and cognition.
References and Readings
- Galea, L., Uban, K., Epp, J., Brummelte, S., Barha, C., Wilson, W., et al. (2008). Endocrine regulation of cognition and neuroplasticity: Our pursuit to unveil the complex interaction between hormones, the brain, and behaviour. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology/Revue canadienne de psychologie experimentale, 62(4), 247–260.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar