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How Oral Contraceptives Impact Social-Emotional Behavior and Brain Function.

Authors
  • Montoya, Estrella R1
  • Bos, Peter A2
  • 1 Department of Experimental Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Netherlands)
  • 2 Department of Experimental Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands. , (Netherlands)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Trends in cognitive sciences
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2017
Volume
21
Issue
2
Pages
125–136
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2016.11.005
PMID: 28089524
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Millions of women worldwide use oral contraceptives ('the pill'; OCs), often starting at a pubertal age when their brains are in a crucial developmental stage. Research into the social-emotional effects of OCs is of utmost importance. In this review, we provide an overview of studies that have emerged over the past decade investigating how OCs, and their main ingredients estradiol (E) and progesterone (P), influence social-emotional behaviors and underlying brain functions. Based on this overview, we present a heuristic model that postulates that OCs modulate core social-emotional behaviors and brain systems. Research domains and challenges for the future, as well as implications, are discussed.

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