Send to

Choose Destination
Biol Psychol. 1996 Sep 27;44(1):31-54.

Olfactory information processing during the course of the menstrual cycle.

Author information

Institute of Psychology, Christian-Albrechts-Universitä, University of Kiel, FRG.


In the present study we examined whether olfactory information processing depends on the phase of the menstrual cycle. Five female subjects were investigated during three phases (follicular, ovulatory, luteal) of their menstrual cycle. In each session chemosensory (olfactory) event-related potentials (CSERP) were recorded and olfactory thresholds and the hedonic tone of the test stimulus (citral) were determined. Threshold values were correlated with the salivary cortisol level. The results show that olfactory perception changes during the menstrual cycle. After the first stimulus presentations in a recording session, odors were perceived as more complex or novel during the ovulatory period (enhanced amplitude of P3-1). With continued stimulation, odor processing became faster (reduced latency of NI, P2 and P3-2) around ovulation and slower during the follicular phase. Moreover, odors were described more differentially during the ovulatory period. Olfactory sensitivity was correlated positively with the peripheral cortisol level.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center