Purpose: It is well accepted that emotional content can affect memory, interacting with the encoding and consolidation processes. The aim of the present study was to verify the effects of estrogens in the interplay of cognition and emotion. Methods: Images from the International Affective Pictures System, based on valence (pleasant, unpleasant and neutral), maintaining arousal constant, were viewed passively by two groups of young women in different cycle phases: a periovulatory group (PO), characterized by high level of estrogens and low level of progesterone, and an early follicular group (EF), characterized by low levels of both estrogens and progesterone. The electrophysiological responses to images were measured, and P300 peak was considered. One week later, long-term memory was tested by means of free recall. Findings: Intra-group analysis displayed that PO woman had significantly better memory for positive images, while EF women showed significantly better memory for negative images. The comparison between groups revealed that women in the PO phase had better memory performance for positive pictures than women in the EF phase, while no significant differences were found for negative and neutral pictures. According to the free recall results, the subjects in the PO group showed greater P300 amplitude, and shorter latency, for pleasant images compared with women in the EF group. Conclusion: Our results showed that the physiological hormonal fluctuation of estrogens during the menstrual cycle can influence memory, at the time of encoding, during the processing of emotional information.

Evidence of estrogen modulation on memory processes for emotional content in healthy young women

POMPILI, ASSUNTA;ARNONE, Benedetto;D'AMICO, MARIO;FEDERICO, PAOLO;GASBARRI, Antonella
2016-01-01

Abstract

Purpose: It is well accepted that emotional content can affect memory, interacting with the encoding and consolidation processes. The aim of the present study was to verify the effects of estrogens in the interplay of cognition and emotion. Methods: Images from the International Affective Pictures System, based on valence (pleasant, unpleasant and neutral), maintaining arousal constant, were viewed passively by two groups of young women in different cycle phases: a periovulatory group (PO), characterized by high level of estrogens and low level of progesterone, and an early follicular group (EF), characterized by low levels of both estrogens and progesterone. The electrophysiological responses to images were measured, and P300 peak was considered. One week later, long-term memory was tested by means of free recall. Findings: Intra-group analysis displayed that PO woman had significantly better memory for positive images, while EF women showed significantly better memory for negative images. The comparison between groups revealed that women in the PO phase had better memory performance for positive pictures than women in the EF phase, while no significant differences were found for negative and neutral pictures. According to the free recall results, the subjects in the PO group showed greater P300 amplitude, and shorter latency, for pleasant images compared with women in the EF group. Conclusion: Our results showed that the physiological hormonal fluctuation of estrogens during the menstrual cycle can influence memory, at the time of encoding, during the processing of emotional information.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/91483
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