Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Is attention in females different?

Date:
December 14, 2011
Source:
Leiden University
Summary:
Is attention in women different from attention in men? Researchers investigated the effects of the hormone estrogen on spontaneous attention. They were hoping in this way to explain differences between the sexes. Women turned out to only be different from men when they had a high level of estrogen during their menstrual cycle.

Is attention in women different from attention in men? Leiden researchers and their colleagues in Toronto investigated the effects of the hormone estrogen on spontaneous attention. They were hoping in this way to explain differences between the sexes. Women turned out to only be different from men when they had a high level of estrogen during their menstrual cycle.

Difference in sex, difference in attention

Cognitive psychologist Dr Lorenza Colzato and her colleagues from Leiden University and the University of Toronto had men and women carry out an inhibition task: the subjects had to react as quickly as possible to a stimulus which appeared immediately after a short film on the edge of their field of vision, every time in a different spot. The reaction time normally increases as the interval between the film and the stimulus lengthens. This is due to the fact that the visual attention system gives priority to new locations over old ones, and the return of attention to the old location is inhibited.

Three phases in the menstrual cycle

Women performed the task in three different phases of their menstrual cycle. Men performed the task with the same time intervals. The result turned out to depend on the phase in which women were in their cycle. Women scored in the same way as men when in the luteal phase (after ovulation) and in the menstrual phase. But they differed from men when in the follicular phase, the first half of the menstrual cycle. This is the phase of the menstrual and ovulation cycle which is characterized by a higher level of estrogen.

Difference not structural but dependent

On the basis of these findings, the researchers concluded that differences in random attention between the sexes are not structural, but variable and dependent.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Leiden University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lorenza S. Colzato, Jay Pratt, Bernhard Hommel. Estrogen modulates inhibition of return in healthy human females. Neuropsychologia, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.11.003

Cite This Page:

Leiden University. "Is attention in females different?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111214094659.htm>.
Leiden University. (2011, December 14). Is attention in females different?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111214094659.htm
Leiden University. "Is attention in females different?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111214094659.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins