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Title: Lack of association between female hormone levels and visuospatial working memory, divided attention and cognitive bias across two consecutive menstrual cycles
Authors : Leeners, Brigitte
Kruger, Tillmann H. C.
Geraedts, Kirsten
Tronci, Enrico
Mancini, Toni
Ille, Fabian
Egli, Marcel
Röblitz, Susanna
Saleh, Lanja
Spanaus, Katharina
Schippert, Cordula
Zhang, Yuangyuang
Hengartner, Michael Pascal
Published in : Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Volume(Issue) : 11
Issue : 120
Publisher / Ed. Institution : Frontiers Research Foundation
Issue Date: 4-Jul-2017
License (according to publishing contract) : CC BY 4.0: Namensnennung 4.0 International
Type of review: Peer review (Publication)
Language : English
Subject (DDC) : 610: Medicine and health
Abstract: Background: Interpretation of observational studies on associations between prefrontal cognitive functioning and hormone levels across the female menstrual cycle is complicated due to small sample sizes and poor replicability. Methods: This observational multisite study comprised data of n = 88 menstruating women from Hannover, Germany, and Zurich, Switzerland, assessed during a first cycle and n = 68 re-assessed during a second cycle to rule out practice effects and false-positive chance findings. We assessed visuospatial working memory, attention, cognitive bias and hormone levels at four consecutive time-points across both cycles. In addition to inter-individual differences we examined intra-individual change over time (i.e., within-subject effects). Results: Estrogen, progesterone and testosterone did not relate to inter-individual differences in cognitive functioning. There was a significant negative association between intra-individual change in progesterone and change in working memory from pre-ovulatory to mid-luteal phase during the first cycle, but that association did not replicate in the second cycle. Intra-individual change in testosterone related negatively to change in cognitive bias from menstrual to pre-ovulatory as well as from pre-ovulatory to mid-luteal phase in the first cycle, but these associations did not replicate in the second cycle. Conclusions: There is no consistent association between women's hormone levels, in particular estrogen and progesterone, and attention, working memory and cognitive bias. That is, anecdotal findings observed during the first cycle did not replicate in the second cycle, suggesting that these are false-positives attributable to random variation and systematic biases such as practice effects. Due to methodological limitations, positive findings in the published literature must be interpreted with reservation.
Departement: Angewandte Psychologie
Publication type: Article in scientific Journal
DOI : 10.3389/fnbeh.2017.00120
ISSN: 1662-5153
Appears in Collections:Publikationen Angewandte Psychologie

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