Memory and the Menstrual Cycle

  • John T. E. Richardson
Part of the Contributions to Psychology and Medicine book series (CONTRIBUTIONS)


In very general terms, the argument pursued in this book thus far can be summarized as follows. Many women report that they experience reduced intellectual efficiency before and during menstruation, and both men and women assume that some impairment in objective cognitive performance is a characteristic feature of the paramenstruum (Chapter 1). There is, however, no reliable evidence at all that the process of menstruation gives rise to any objective deficits in intellectual functioning (Chapter 2). Even when women are assessed on psychophysical tasks that are known to be sensitive to other human biorhythms, there is still no sign of any loss in cognitive efficiency; indeed, in some tasks at least, the highest level of processing capability appears to be manifested in the premenstrual phase (Chapter 3). In spite of the methodological reservations discussed by Barbara Sommer in Chapter 2 concerning the acceptance of null findings, there is simply no support at all for the notion of paramenstrual cognitive debilitation.


Menstrual Cycle Oral Contraceptive Female Subject Trait Anxiety State Anxiety 
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