This project examined the effects menstruation may have on visual attention in women. A recent study examined electroencephalographic (EEG) gender differences using a visual object recognition task. Results indicated certain EEG amplitudes (specifically, P300 and N400) are greater in women than men. This study extended the previous findings to determine if these increased EEG amplitudes vary across menstrual phases. Eighteen female participants participated in a series of 3 EEG recording sessions using the same visual object recognition task from the previous study; 18 male participants completed this task once. Analyses from 15 of the 18 female and 16 of the 18 male participants support the previous finding of larger P300 amplitudes in response to relevant stimuli for women compared with men. While there was no distinctive N400 component in this study, there was a late negative (LN) component which was found to vary significantly between men and women. In addition, multiple visual evoked potential (VEP) components varied significantly across the menstrual cycle. In particular, the N200 component appeared to provide greater differences between menstrual phases than either the P300 or LN components; however, the results varied greatly by head location. The differentiation found with VEP components in response to the pop-out task used in this study provide support for basic visual processing variation across the menstrual cycle and between genders.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Psychology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Nash, Michelle, "Menstrual Cycle and Visual Information Processing" (2008). Theses and Dissertations. 1966.
Menstruation, Visual Information Processing, Gender, Cognition, ERP, VEP, P300, N200, P200, Late Negative Component, Attention