Visuo-perceptual task performance across the menstrual cycle in women with and without premenstrual symptoms: potential influences of estradiol and estradiol sensitivity on retinogeniculostriate, extrastriate, and elementary retinal-based smooth pursuit pathways
Doctor of Philosophy
DisciplinePsychology : Clinical
SubjectPremenstrual symptoms (PMS)
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)............
Estrogen & mood
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The present study examined whether women with premenstrual symptoms (PMS) exhibit a different pattern of performance on psychophysical tasks across the menstrual cycle in comparison to control women. Research has shown that a related and more extreme presentation of this phenomenon, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) may be experienced as the result of a heightened sensitivity to normal phasic changes in sex steroid concentrations. In addition, research suggests that performance on certain measures of visuo-perceptual ability is associated with changing levels of estradiol. Thus, women who are more sensitive to changing hormonal levels (e.g., women with PMS) may exhibit different performance on such tasks when compared to controls; and as a function of the menstrual cycle. Control women (N= 18) and women with PMS symptoms (N= 16) performed a series of four psychophysical tasks during laboratory sessions at both the late-follicular (LF) and late-luteal (LL) phases of the menstrual cycle.