class11.final

class11.final - Cycle Phase and Mating Psychology Nonhuman...

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Cycle Phase and Mating Psychology Nonhuman mammals undergo a period of “estrous”: – Days in cycle in which conception is possible Females in most species only sexually receptive at this time – Females’ attractiveness to males increases at this time – Females prefer males with putative fitness indicators at this time (e.g., prefer to associate with normal T male > castrated male) – Estrogen hormonal signal that regulates these effects Do humans have an estrous period? – Changes in women’s mate preferences, receptivity, attractiveness associated with cycle phase? – Effects produced by homologous mechanisms? (estrogen)
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All of women’s gametes (oocytes) formed prenatally “Follicles” are oocyte and surrounding support cells Small follicles stay in resting pool but then begin to develop at rate of ~1000/month, beginning prenatally In absence of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone)/LH signals, follicles die At birth, ~ 1 million small follicles; at puberty, ~ .5 million left At menopause, zero left If developing follicles receive FSH and LH signals, develop further into one “dominant follicle” – support cells around it increase and produce estrogen Estrogen primes an LH surge that triggers ovulation Birth control pills block either FSH (follicles die instead of developing) or LH surge (prevents ovulation) Hypothalamus GnRH Pituitary ( LH, FSH)
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Estrogen causes development of uterine lining in preparation for possible implantation of zygote After ovulation, follicle turns into structure called corpus luteum Secretes progesterone, necessary for hospitable environment for embryo (RU486 blocks P) Also secretes estrogen Phases of cycle Follicular phase : from menstruation to ovulation Luteal phase : from ovulation to start of next menstruation “Fertile window”: days when conception possible: day of ovulation and up to 5 days before Conception not possible during luteal phase Hypothalamus GnRH Pituitary ( LH, FSH)
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Fertile window ovulation Estrogen Progesterone
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Cycle Phase and Mating Psychology Nonhuman mammals undergo a period of “estrous”: Females in most species only sexually receptive at this time Females’ attractiveness to males increases at this time Females prefer males with putative fitness indicators at this time Do any of these results hold in humans?
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Receptivity In human females sexual receptivity not confined only to fertile window Physically possible to copulate any time Some evidence that perhaps female libido is influenced by cycle phase Difficult to study Could use sexual thoughts as DV, but assumes that output of mechanism is actual thought Some studies have used actual behaviors (sexual activity) of women involved in relationships Potentially problematic in that both male and female
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This note was uploaded on 12/07/2009 for the course PSYCH 146 taught by Professor Rooney during the Fall '09 term at UCSB.

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class11.final - Cycle Phase and Mating Psychology Nonhuman...

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