Psychological Effect of the Menstrual Cycle on an Emotional Go/Nogo Task and Its Relation to Plasma Oxytocin and Prolactin Levels


Numbers of previous studies have suggested that the menstrual cycle of healthy women with natural menstrual cycle influences facial emotion processing. We investigated the effect of the facial expression as the emotional distractor on the behavioral inhibitory processes in the follicular and luteal phases. Especially, we focused on the oxytocin and prolactin levels which are known to fluctuate in the menstrual cycle, and also known to have neuropsychological effects. Sixteen healthy women with natural menstrual cycle and no experience of pregnancy participated in the experiment once each in their follicular and luteal phase. Task performances and electroencephalogram during the emotional Go/Nogo task using angry and neutral faces of children as distractors were measured after blood sampling for hormone analysis. The results showed that the Nogo-N2 latency was delayed by the angry faces only in the luteal phase. In addition, the change rate of the Nogo-N2 latency from the follicular to luteal phases was positively correlated with the change rate of the prolactin levels. Thus, distractions by the angry faces and its processing may delay the early behavioral inhibitory processing reflected in Nogo-N2, only in the luteal phase. Moreover, such distractive effects may be related to prolactin level. With regard to oxytocin, a positive correlation between its change rate and the change rate of the task sensitivity was observed. In conclusion, it was suggested that the plasma oxytocin and prolactin levels may be differently related to the behavioral inhibitory processes with facial distractors.

Author Information
Sayuri Hayashi, Kyushu University, Japan
Fumi Kishida, Kyushu University, Japan
Shigekazu Higuchi, Kyushu University, Japan
Yuki Motomura, Kyushu University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2019
Stream: General Psychology

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon