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The influence of the menstrual cycle on the female brain

nown, for example, that the female response to cocaine is greater in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle4 than in the luteal phase5.Moreover, schizophrenia tends to appear later in women than in men.

    1. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, more specifically a molecule that modulates neuron activity in the brain. Dopaminergic neurons use dopamine as a neurotransmitter/neuromodulator.
    2. Structures including the ventral striatum, the anterior cingulate cortex, and the orbitofrontal cortex.
    3. Dopaminergic system: all the brain structures innervated by dopaminergic neurons.
    4. Follicular phase: the first part of the menstrual cycle starting from the first day of the period.
    5 Luteal phase: the second pat of the menstrual cycle that begins after ovulation and ends on the last day of the period.
    6. Gonadal neurosteroids: steroidal hormones produced by the gonads (ovaries and testicles), which interact with estrogen receptors, progesterone or androgens.

    7. Luteinizing hormone (LH) is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland. Its main role is to trigger ovulation, which occurs between 36 and 48 hours after the LH peak.

An increase in brain activity with anticipation of uncertain monetary rewards is observed. During the follicular phase, this is in the amygdala and the orbitofrontal cortex. (The higher the T values, the more the colors go from red to yellow, and the "statistically" higher the brain activity.)

Estrogens and progesterone are not just sex hormones that influence ovulation and reproduction; they also affect a large number of cognitive and affective functions.

These two observations show that gonadal neurosteroids6 modulate the female dopaminergic system, but the question remains as to whether these hormones modulate the reward system neuron network.

In order to answer this question, the team developed an experiment using function
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Source:CNRS


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