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Menstrual cycle-dependent neural plasticity in the adult human brain is hormone, task, and region specific

Fernández G., , Weis S., , Stoffel-Wagner B., , Tendolkar I., , Reuber M., , Beyenburg S., , Klaver P., , Fell J., , De Greiff A., , Ruhlmann J., , Reul J., and Elger C.E., (2003) Menstrual cycle-dependent neural plasticity in the adult human brain is hormone, task, and region specific Journal of Neuroscience, 23 (9). pp. 3790-3795.

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Abstract

In rodents, cyclically fluctuating levels of gonadal steroid hormones modulate neural plasticity by altering synaptic transmission and synaptogenesis. Alterations of mood and cognition observed during the menstrual cycle suggest that steroid-related plasticity also occurs in humans. Cycle phase-dependent differences in cognitive performance have almost exclusively been found in tasks probing lateralized neuronal domains, i.e., cognitive domains such as language, which are predominantly executed by one hemisphere. To search for neural correlates of hormonally mediated neural plasticity in humans, we thus conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging study measuring brain activity related to a semantic decision task in the language domain. This was contrasted with a letter-matching task in the perceptual domain, in which we expected no steroid hormone-mediated effect. We investigated 12 young healthy women in a counter-balanced repeated-measure design during low-steroid menstruation and high-steroid midluteal phase. Steroid serum levels correlated with the volume and lateralization of particular brain activations related to the semantic task but not with brain activity related to the perceptual task. More specifically, bilateral superior temporal recruitment correlated positively with progesterone and medial superior frontal recruitment with both progesterone and estradiol serum levels, whereas activations in inferior and middle frontal cortex were unaffected by steroid levels. In contrast to these specific interactions, testosterone levels correlated nonselectively with overall activation levels by neural and/or vascular factor(s). In conclusion, our data demonstrate steroid hormone responsivity in the adult human brain by revealing neural plasticity in the language domain, which appears hormone, task, and region specific.

Item Type: Article
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Fernández G., UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Weis S., UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Stoffel-Wagner B., UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Tendolkar I., UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Reuber M., UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Beyenburg S., UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Klaver P., UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Fell J., UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
De Greiff A., UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Ruhlmann J., UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Reul J., UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Elger C.E., UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 2003
Uncontrolled Keywords : Estrogen, fMRI, Language, Language dominance, Menstrual cycle, Neural plasticity, Progesterone, Sex hormones, Steroid
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 10:41
Last Modified : 17 May 2017 10:41
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/828793

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