Archives of Sexual Behavior

, 38:821 | Cite as

Menstrual Cycle Phase Effects on Memory and Stroop Task Performance

  • Takeshi HattaEmail author
  • Keiko Nagaya
Original Paper


The present study examined differences in Stroop and memory task performances modulated by gonadal steroid hormones during the menstrual cycle in women. Thirty women with regular menstrual cycles performed a logical memory task (Wechsler Memory Scale) and the Stroop task. The results showed a significant difference in Stroop task performance between low and high levels of estradiol and progesterone during the menstrual cycle, but there was no significant difference in memory performance between the two phases, nor was there any significant mood change that might have influenced cognitive performance. These findings suggest that sex-related hormone modulation selectively affects cognitive functions depending on the type of task and low level secretion of estradiol appears to contribute to reducing the level of attention that relates to the prefrontal cortex.


Sex hormones Menstrual cycle Attention Memory Stroop test Prefrontal cortex 



The authors appreciate very much the Editor for his kind and patient help in editing of the article. Part of this study was supported by the grant for science research to the first author from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture in Japan (No. 19330158).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Graduate School of Environmental StudiesNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  2. 2.Kansai University of Welfare SciencesKashiwaraJapan
  3. 3.Daiyukai General HospitalIchinomiya CityJapan

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