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The Importance of the Derivative in Sex-Hormone Cycles: A Reason Why Behavioural Measures in Sex-Hormone Studies Are So Mercurial

McNamara, AJ, Moakes, K, Aston, PJ, Gavin, C and Sterr, A (2014) The Importance of the Derivative in Sex-Hormone Cycles: A Reason Why Behavioural Measures in Sex-Hormone Studies Are So Mercurial PLoS One, 9 (11), e11189.

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Abstract

To study the dynamic changes in cognition across the human menstrual cycle, twenty, healthy, naturally-cycling women undertook a lateralized spatial figural comparison task on twelve occasions at approximately 3-4 day intervals. Each session was conducted in laboratory conditions with response times, accuracy rates, eye movements, salivary estrogen and progesterone concentrations and Profile of Mood states questionnaire data collected on each occasion. The first two sessions of twelve for the response variables were discarded to avoid early effects of learning thereby providing 10 sessions spread across each participant's complete menstrual cycle. Salivary progesterone data for each participant was utilized to normalize each participant's data to a standard 28 day cycle. Data was analysed categorically by comparing peak progesterone (luteal phase) to low progesterone (follicular phase) to emulate two-session repeated measures typical studies. Neither a significant difference in reaction times or accuracy rates was found. Moreover no significant effect of lateral presentation was observed upon reaction times or accuracy rates although inter and intra individual variance was sizeable. Using a 'phase plane' plot, we demonstrated that hormone concentrations alone cannot be used to predict the response times or accuracy rates. In contrast, we constructed a standard linear model using salivary estrogen, salivary progesterone and their respective derivative values and found these inputs to be very accurate for predicting variance observed in the reaction times for all stimuli and accuracy rates for right visual field stimuli but not left visual field stimuli. The identification of sex-hormone derivatives as predictors of cognitive behaviours is of importance. The finding suggests that there is a fundamental difference between the up-surge and decline of hormonal concentrations where previous studies typically assume all points near the peak of a hormonal surge are the same. How contradictory findings in sex-hormone research may have come about are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Mathematics
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
McNamara, AJUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Moakes, KUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Aston, PJUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Gavin, CUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Sterr, AUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 26 November 2014
Identification Number : 10.1371/journal.pone.0111891
Related URLs :
Additional Information : Copyright: 2014 McNamara et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 11 Dec 2015 10:59
Last Modified : 11 Dec 2015 10:59
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/809291

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