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 October 21, 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 October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A study suggests that parents become desensitized to violent movies as well as children, which leads them to allow their kids to view violent films. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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