ABSTRACT: Fifty-four participants took part in a study to evaluate the effects of the menstrual cycle on mood and the performance of a perceptual-motor task. The task involved tracking a randomly-moving circle on a computer screen with a joystick-controlled dot. Women were tested on three occasions, during the premenstrual, menstrual and ovulatory phases. Each testing session involved completing the Menstrual Distress Questionnaire, the monopolar Profile of Mood States questionnaire and performing five, timed trials on the task. A control group of male participants completed the Profile of Mood States questionnaire on three separate occasions over 28 days according to a pseudo-menstrual cycle experimental protocol. Results revealed that females experienced low energy and impaired cognitive function, both premenstrually and during menstruation. Task performance did not vary with menstrual-cycle phase, suggesting that they either tried to compensate for a lack of well being, or that negative mood was of insufficient magnitude to manifest a performance change. The findings suggest that when the purpose of an assessment is disguised, typically-reported menstrual-cycle and mood-related effects on performance are not observed reliably.
Journal of Psychosomatic Research 11/1994; 38(7):763-71. · 3.30 Impact Factor