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Premenstrual enhancement of snake detection in visual search in healthy women

Authors
Journal
Scientific Reports
2045-2322
Publisher
Nature Publishing Group
Publication Date
Volume
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1038/srep00307
Keywords
  • Article

Abstract

It is well known that adult humans detect images of snakes as targets more quickly than images of flowers as targets whether the images are in color or gray-scale. When such visual searches were performed by a total of 60 adult premenopausal healthy women in the present study to examine whether their performance would fluctuate across the phases of the menstrual cycle, snake detection was found to become temporarily enhanced during the luteal phase as compared to early or late follicular phases. This is the first demonstration of the existence of within-individual variation of the activity of the fear module, as a predictable change in cognitive strength, which appears likely to be due to the hormonal changes that occur in the menstrual cycle of healthy women.

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