Performance in a test demanding prefrontal functions is favored by early luteal phase progesterone: an electroencephalographic study

Silvia Solís-OrtízM Corsi-Cabrera


There are some psychological studies showing changes in intellectual efficiency before and during menstruation. Many women report that they experience a feeling of difficulty to initiate activities, confront challenging situations and lack of concentration suggesting transient changes in frontal lobe functions related with gonadal hormone levels. Therefore, performance of a task demanding prefrontal functions, the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, with simultaneous recording of electroencephalographic (EEG) activity was assessed in 9 healthy women, in a repeated measure study, during ovulation (OVU), early luteal (EL), late luteal (LL) and menstrual (MEN) phases. Spectral power of base line and task EEG, and number of responses to reach successful and unsuccessful outcomes in the task were evaluated. Performance was impaired to a certain degree during the OVU phase and was associated with an attenuated alpha1 power and with an increase of the theta and beta2 power. Performance was better during EL phase, when progesterone level is at its highest, no significant changes were observed from BL to task. Performance was worse during LL phase when hormone levels are at its lowest and was associated with a decrease in beta1 and beta2 power...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Mental Concentration
Luteal Phase
Memory for Designs Test
Pattern Recognition, Visual
Problem Solving (Mental Process)
Progesterone, (9 beta,10 alpha)-Isomer
Psychomotor Performance

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