Professor Melissa Hines

Melissa Hines

University position


Professor Melissa Hines is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


Department of Psychology


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Research Themes

Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience

Developmental Neuroscience


I study gender development, and am particularly interested in how prenatal influences (e.g., gonadal hormones) interact with postnatal experience to shape brain development and behaviour. My current research programme includes studies of individuals with disorders of sex development (formerly called intersex conditions), as well as healthy individuals for whom we have measures of prenatal hormones. Behavioural outcomes of interest include gender identity, sexual orientation, aggression, empathy, mood, sex-typical interests in childhood (e.g., toy preferences) and adulthood, and clinical syndromes that show sex differences. I also study infants, so that we can identify sex differences as they emerge early in life and examine their relationship to prenatal hormones and postnatal socialiazation. In addition, I am interested in the neural and cognitive mechanisms related to behavioural changes in these areas, as well as in animal models of human behavior.

Non-human primates contacting sex-typed toys
Non-human primates contacting sex-typed toys. Left: female with doll; Right: male with car.
Click image to view full-size

Research Focus



sexual differentiation




Clinical conditions

Gender identity disorder

Genetic disorders


Behavioural analysis

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Neuropsychological testing

Psychometric testing

Steroid hormone measurement



Susan Golombok

Gerard Hackett

Ieuan Hughes

Vickie Pasterski

John Rust

United Kingdom

Vivette Glover Web:

Peter Hindmarsh Web:


Mitchell Geffner Web:

Kenneth Zucker Web:

Associated News Items

    Key publications

    Pasterski VL, Geffner M, Brain C, Hindmarsh P, Brook C, Hines M (2005), “Prenatal hormones versus postnatal socialization by parents as determinants of male-typical toy play in girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia” Child Development 76:264-278 Details



    Hines M, Kung KTF, Spencer D, Browne WV, Constantinescu M & Noorderhaven R (2016), “The early postnatal period, mini-puberty, provides a window on the role of testosterone in human neurobehavioural development.” Current Opinion in Neurobiology 38: 69-73

    Hines M, Pasterski V, Hindmarsh PC, Acerini CL, Hughes IA, Spencer D, Neufeld S & Patalay P (2016), “Processes involved in the self-socialization of gender-related behaviour are altered in girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia” Philosophical Transactions B 371: 20150125

    Kung KTF, Browne WV, Constantinescu M, Noorderhaven R & Hines M (2016), “Early postnatal testosterone predicts sex-related differences in early expressive vocabulary” Psychoneuroendocrinology 68: 111-116

    Kung KTF, Constantinescu M, Browne WV, Noorderhaven R & Hines M (2016), “No relationship between early postnatal testosterone concentrations and autistic traits in 18 to 30 month old children” Molecular Autism 7(15) DOI: 10.1186/s13229-016-0078-8

    Meyer-Bahlberg HFL, Baratz-Dalke K, Berenbaum SA, Cohen-Kettenis PT, Hines M & Schober JM (2016), “Gender assignment, reassignment and outcome in Disorders of Sex Development: update of the 2005 consensus conference” Hormone Research in Paediatrics DOI: 10.1159/000442386


    Browne WV, Peter C, Hindmarsh PC, Pasterski V, Hughes IA, Acerini CL, Spencer D, Neufeld S & Hines M (2015), “Working memory performance is reduced in children with congenital adrenal hyperplasia” Horm Behav 67: 83-88

    Collaer ML, Hindmarsh PC, Pasterski VL, Fane BA, Conway GS, Brook CGD & Hines M (2015), “Reduced short term memory predicts lowered spatial perception and quantitative performance in adolescents and adults with congenital adrenal hyperplasia” Psychoneuroendocrinology 64: 164-173

    Hines M (2015), “Gendered Development” Handbook of Child Development and Developmental Science (7th edition) RM Lerner and ME Lamb (eds.) Wiley, Hoboken, NJ Vol 3, Chapter 10

    Hines M, Constantinescu M & Spencer D (2015), “Early androgen exposure and human gender development” Biology of Sex Differences 6(3) DOI: 10.1186/s13293-015-0022-1

    Pasterski V, Acerini CL, Dunger DB, Ong KK & Hines M (2015), “Postnatal penile growth concurrent with mini-puberty predicts later sex-typed play behaviour: evidence for neurobehavioural effects of the postnatal androgen surge” Horm Behav 69: 98-105

    Pasterski VL, Zucker KJ, Hindmarsh PM, Hughes IA, Acerini CL, Spencer D, Neufeld S & Hines M (2015), “Increased cross-gender identification independent of gender role behavior in girls with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia: results from a standardized assessment of 4-11-year-old children” Arch Sex Behav 44, 1363-1375. DOI 10.1007/s10508-014-0385-0

    Wong WI & Hines M (2015), “Preferences for pink and blue: the development of color preferences as a distinct gender-typed behavior in toddlers” Arch Sex Behav 44, 1243-1254


    Lamminmaki A, Hines M, Kuiri-Hanninen T, Kilpelainen L, Dunkel L & Sankilampi U (2012), “Testosterone measured in infancy predicts subsequent sex-typed behavior in girls and in boys” Horm Behav 61: 611-616


    Hines M (2011), “Gender development and the human brain.” Annu Rev Neurosci 34:69-88 Details

    Pasterski V, Geffner ME, Brain C, Hindmarsh P, Brook C, Hines M (2011), “Prenatal hormones and childhood sex segregation: playmate and play style preferences in girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia.” Horm Behav 59(4):549-55 Details


    Jadva V, Hines M & Golombok S (2010), “Infants’ preferences for toys, colours and shapes: Sex differences and similarities” Arch Sex Behav 39, 1261-1273


    Golombok S, Rust J, Zervoulis K, Croudace T, Golding F & Hines M (2008), “Developmental trajectories of sex-typed behaviour in boys and girls: A longitudinal general population study of children aged 2.5-8 years” Child Dev 79, 1585-1595

    Hines M, Alexander GM (2008), “Monkeys, girls, boys and toys: a confirmation Letter regarding "Sex differences in toy preferences: striking parallels between monkeys and humans".” Horm Behav 54(3):478-9; author reply 480-1 Details


    Pasterski V, Hindmarsh P, Geffner M, Brook C, Brain C, Hines M (2007), “Increased aggression and activity level in 3- to 11-year-old girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH).” Horm Behav 52(3):368-74 Details


    Miles C, Green R, Hines M (2006), “Estrogen treatment effects on cognition, memory and mood in male-to-female transsexuals.” Horm Behav 50(5):708-17 Details


    Iervolino AC, Hines M, Golombok SE, Rust J, Plomin R (2005), “Genetic and environmental influences on sex-typed behavior during the preschool years.” Child Dev 76(4):826-40 Details


    Hines M, Ahmed SF & Hughes IA (2003), “Psychological outcomes and gender-related development in complete androgen insensitivity syndrome” Arch Sex Behav 32(2):93-101

    Hines M, Fane BA, Pasterski VL, Mathews GA, Conway GS, Brook C (2003), “Spatial abilities following prenatal androgen abnormality: targeting and mental rotations performance in individuals with congenital adrenal hyperplasia.” Psychoneuroendocrinology 28(8):1010-26 Details


    Collaer ML, Geffner ME, Kaufman FR, Buckingham B, Hines M (2002), “Cognitive and behavioral characteristics of turner syndrome: exploring a role for ovarian hormones in female sexual differentiation.” Horm Behav 41(2):139-55 Details


    Hines M, Sandberg EC (1996), “Sexual differentiation of cognitive abilities in women exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES) prenatally.” Horm Behav 30(4):354-63 Details


    Collaer ML, Hines M (1995), “Human behavioral sex differences: a role for gonadal hormones during early development?” Psychol Bull 118(1):55-107 Details


    Alexander GM, Packard MG, Hines M (1994), “Testosterone has rewarding affective properties in male rats: implications for the biological basis of sexual motivation.” Behav Neurosci 108(2):424-8 Details

    Hines M, Kaufman FR (1994), “Androgen and the development of human sex-typical behavior: rough-and-tumble play and sex of preferred playmates in children with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH).” Child Dev 65(4):1042-53 Details


    Hines M, Allen LS, Gorski RA (1992), “Sex differences in subregions of the medial nucleus of the amygdala and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis of the rat.” Brain Res 579(2):321-6 Details

    Hines M, Chiu L, McAdams LA, Bentler PM, Lipcamon J (1992), “Cognition and the corpus callosum: verbal fluency, visuospatial ability, and language lateralization related to midsagittal surface areas of callosal subregions.” Behav Neurosci 106(1):3-14 Details


    Allen LS, Hines M, Shryne JE, Gorski RA (1989), “Two sexually dimorphic cell groups in the human brain.” J Neurosci 9(2):497-506 Details


    Hines M, Davis FC, Coquelin A, Goy RW, Gorski RA (1985), “Sexually dimorphic regions in the medial preoptic area and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis of the guinea pig brain: a description and an investigation of their relationship to gonadal steroids in adulthood.” J Neurosci 5(1):40-7 Details


    Döhler KD, Coquelin A, Davis F, Hines M, Shryne JE, Gorski RA (1984), “Pre- and postnatal influence of testosterone propionate and diethylstilbestrol on differentiation of the sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area in male and female rats.” Brain Res 302(2):291-5 Details


    Hines M (1982), “Prenatal gonadal hormones and sex differences in human behavior” Psychol Bull 92(1):56-80