Effects of sex and HIV serostatus on spatial navigational learning and memory among cocaine users

J. Fogel, L. H. Rubin, P. Maki, M. K. Keutmann, R. Gonzalez, J. Vassileva, E. M. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spatial learning and memory are critically dependent on the integrity of hippocampal systems. Functional MRI and neuropathological studies show that hippocampal circuitry is prominently affected among HIV-seropositive individuals, but potential spatial learning and memory deficits have not been studied in detail in this population. We investigated the independent and interactive effects of sex and HIV serostatus on performance of a spatial learning and memory task in a sample of 181 individuals with a history of cocaine dependence. We found that men showed faster times to completion on immediate recall trials compared with women and that delayed recall was significantly poorer among HIV-infected compared with HIV-uninfected participants. Additionally, a sex × serostatus effect was found on the total number of completed learning trials. Specifically, HIV-infected men successfully completed more learning trials compared with HIV-infected women. Results are discussed in the context of recent reports of sex and HIV serostatus effects on episodic memory performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)855-863
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of neurovirology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Cocaine
  • Cognitive impairment
  • HIV
  • Sex differences
  • Spatial memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Virology


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