abstract Lorenza Colzato

Lorenza Colzato (Universiteit Leiden, the Netherlands)

Estrogen modulates inhibitory control in healthy human females

Animal studies point to a role of estrogen in explaining gender differences in striatal dopaminergic functioning, but evidence from human studies is still lacking. Given that dopamine is crucial for inhibition, estrogen may have a specific impact on the inhibition of prepotent responses and the inhibition of return (IOR) effect, which refers to the fact that people are slower to detect a target if it appears in a previously attended location. Our results suggest that inhibiting prepotent responses and IOR effect vary across the menstrual cycle in healthy females. The variation of estrogen levels across the menstrual cycle may account for our observations of gender differences in inhibitory control, suggesting that such differences are variable and state-dependent but not structural.