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Title: What grabs his attention but not hers? Estrogen correlates with neurophysiological measures of vocal change detection
Authors: Schirmer, A. 
Escoffier, N. 
Li, Q.Y.
Li, H.
Strafford-Wilson, J.
Li, W.-I.
Keywords: Attention
Frontal cortex
Mismatch negativity
Sex differences
Issue Date: 2008
Citation: Schirmer, A., Escoffier, N., Li, Q.Y., Li, H., Strafford-Wilson, J., Li, W.-I. (2008). What grabs his attention but not hers? Estrogen correlates with neurophysiological measures of vocal change detection. Psychoneuroendocrinology 33 (6) : 718-727. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Prior research revealed sex differences in the processing of unattended changes in speaker prosody. The present study aimed at investigating the role of estrogen in mediating these effects. To this end, the electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded while participants watched a silent movie with subtitles and passively listened to a syllable sequence that contained occasional changes in speaker prosody. In one block, these changes were neutral, whereas in another block they were emotional. Estrogen values were obtained for each participant and correlated with the mismatch negativity (MMN) amplitude elicited in the EEG. As predicted, female listeners had higher estrogen values than male listeners and showed reduced MMN amplitudes to neutral as compared to emotional change in speaker prosody. Moreover, in both, male and female listeners, MMN amplitudes were negatively correlated with estrogen when the change in speaker prosody was neutral, but not when it was emotional. This suggests that estrogen is associated with reduced distractibility by neutral, but not emotional, events. Emotional events are spared from this reduction in distractibility and more likely to penetrate voluntary attention directed elsewhere. Taken together, the present findings provide evidence for a role of estrogen in human cognition and emotion. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Source Title: Psychoneuroendocrinology
ISSN: 03064530
DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2008.02.010
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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