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Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2014 Nov;24(11):1855-9. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2014.08.015. Epub 2014 Sep 1.

Oral contraceptives may alter the detection of emotions in facial expressions.

Author information

1
Institute of Psychology, Clinical Psychology Department, Leiden University, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden, The Netherlands.
2
Institute of Psychology, Clinical Psychology Department, Leiden University, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden, The Netherlands; Leiden Institute of Brain and Cognition, Leiden University, The Netherlands.
3
Institute of Psychology, Clinical Psychology Department, Leiden University, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden, The Netherlands; DynaCorts Therapeutics, Leidschendam, The Netherlands.
4
Institute of Psychology, Clinical Psychology Department, Leiden University, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden, The Netherlands; Leiden Institute of Brain and Cognition, Leiden University, The Netherlands; Department of Psychiatry, Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands. Electronic address: vanderdoes@fsw.leidenuniv.nl.

Abstract

A possible effect of oral contraceptives on emotion recognition was observed in the context of a clinical trial with a corticosteroid. Users of oral contraceptives detected significantly fewer facial expressions of sadness, anger and disgust than non-users. This was true for trial participants overall as well as for those randomized to placebo. Although it is uncertain whether this is an effect of oral contraceptives or a pre-existing difference, future studies on the effect of interventions should control for the effects of oral contraceptives on emotional and cognitive outcomes.

KEYWORDS:

Emotion recognition; Estrogen; Oral contraceptives; Progesterone

PMID:
25224104
DOI:
10.1016/j.euroneuro.2014.08.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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