The impact of menstrual cyclicity and sex differences on dichotic listening was studied in 25 women and 20 men (aged 20–25 years). Dichotic listening was administered using consonant-vowel (CV) stimuli and tested across three attention conditions. Women were tested at two points in the menstrual cycle (Day 2–5: low oestrogen and progesterone/Low-EP; Day 18–25: high oestrogen and progesterone/High-EP). Men were tested once. Performance averaged across attention conditions was analysed for menstrual cycle and sex effects. Significant menstrual cycle phase effects were observed in women. At the High-EP phase women showed a greater right ear advantage (REA) compared to the Low-EP phase. Sex differences were found when dichotic listening asymmetry in men was compared to women at the Low-EP, but not the High-EP phase. In contrast to laterality effects, baseline perceptual performance (total right plus left ear response) was similar in men and women at both phases of the menstrual cycle. Results support a role for ovarian hormones in shaping laterality of speech perception in women. This study also emphasises the importance of considering menstrual cycle effects when evaluating sex differences in dichotic listening.
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|