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Menstrual cycle effects on selective attention and its underlying cortical networks.

Thimm, M. and Weis, S. and Hausmann, M. and Sturm, W. (2014) 'Menstrual cycle effects on selective attention and its underlying cortical networks.', Neuroscience., 258 . pp. 307-317.


It was the aim of the present study to investigate menstrual cycle effects on selective attention and its underlying functional cerebral networks. Twenty-one healthy, right-handed, normally cycling women were investigated by means of functional magnetic resonance imaging using a go/no-go paradigm during the menstrual, follicular and luteal phase. On the behavioral level there was a significant interaction between visual half field and cycle phase with reaction times to right-sided compared to left-sided stimuli being faster in the menstrual compared to the follicular phase. These results might argue for a more pronounced functional cerebral asymmetry toward the left hemisphere in selective attention during the menstrual phase with low estradiol and progesterone levels. Functional imaging, however, did not reveal clear-cut menstrual phase-related changes in activation pattern in parallel to these behavioral findings. A functional connectivity analysis identified differences between the menstrual and the luteal phase: During the menstrual phase, left inferior parietal cortex showed a stronger negative correlation with the right middle frontal gyrus while the left medial frontal cortex showed a stronger negative correlation with the left middle frontal gyrus. These results can serve as further evidence of a modulatory effect of steroid hormones on networks of lateralized cognitive functions not only by interhemispheric inhibition but also by affecting intrahemispheric functional connectivity.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:fMRI, Selective attention, Go/no-go, Menstrual cycle, Steroid hormones, Functional cerebral asymmetry.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Neuroscience. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Neuroscience, 258, 31 January 2014, 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.11.010.
Date accepted:05 November 2013
Date deposited:13 November 2014
Date of first online publication:January 2014
Date first made open access:No date available

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