Effects of Testosterone on Emotion Processing in Men
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Recent literature suggests that recognition of emotional facial expressions changes during hormone cycles. In women, emotional facial expression recognition accuracy has been found to change as hormone levels vary across the menstrual cycle; however it is not yet known whether men experience transient changes in emotion recognition related to daily hormonal cycles. This study examined whether there are transient changes in facial and prosodic emotion recognition across the day, at times when testosterone is highest and lowest. Participants consisted of males ranging in age from 18-30 years. All participants completed two testing sessions, one in the morning (high testosterone) and one in the afternoon (low testosterone). Participants completed two facial and prosodic emotion processing tasks during each session. In addition, self-report measures of emotional intelligence and empathy were administered to assess whether self-perceived emotional abilities also fluctuate. Scores from the two sessions were compared to determine if diurnal fluctuations in emotion processing abilities occurred.