ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2020, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (6): 742-757.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00742

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


侯璐璐, 陈莅蓉, 周仁来()   

  1. 南京大学心理学系, 南京 210023
  • 收稿日期:2019-09-06 出版日期:2020-06-25 发布日期:2020-04-22
  • 通讯作者: 周仁来
  • 基金资助:
    * 江苏高校哲学社会科学重点研究基地重大项目(2015JDXM001);南京大学双创示范基地重点项目(SCJD0406);南京大学博士研究生创新创意计划(CXCY18-06)

Altered reward processing in women with premenstrual syndrome: Evidence from ERPs and time-frequency analysis

HOU Lulu, CHEN Lirong, ZHOU Renlai()   

  1. Department of Psychology, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
  • Received:2019-09-06 Online:2020-06-25 Published:2020-04-22
  • Contact: ZHOU Renlai


研究表明, 经前期综合征(Premenstrual syndromes, PMS)女性的情绪平衡性存在问题, 而现有研究多从负性情绪上升的角度考察PMS的发病机制, 而对其正性情绪缺损的关注不足。鉴于正性情绪与奖赏进程密切相关, 本研究试图从奖赏进程失调的角度考察PMS女性与健康女性的差异以及该差异是否存在阶段特异性的问题, 以期从正性情绪缺损的角度揭示其发病机制。具体而言, 分别选取PMS女性与健康女性23名和22名, 考察两组被试在黄体晚期(即经前期)和卵泡早期(即经后期)正性情绪以及完成赌博任务时的脑电数据时域和频域的差异。主观问卷结果显示, PMS女性的愉快和平静情绪低于健康女性, 并且情绪平衡性也低于健康女性, 但无明显的阶段特异性。时域分析结果显示, PMS组在经前期收到奖赏反馈后奖赏正波(reward positivity, RewP)的波幅和差异波(即奖赏条件和惩罚条件下的差值)的波幅均低于健康女性, 进一步的相关分析结果显示, 对于PMS组来说, 经前期奖赏条件下的RewP波幅和差异波波幅与经前期的情绪平衡性显著正相关。频域分析的结果则发现PMS组在经前期奖赏条件下的θ频段(4~7 Hz, 250~400 ms)能量低于健康组。研究表明, PMS女性在经前期的奖赏加工进程存在异常, 表现为对奖赏反馈的预期增强, 而在收到奖赏反馈后又出现了钝化反应, 且奖赏进程的失调与情绪平衡性相关。本研究为理解PMS女性奖赏进程失调的动态加工时程和神经震荡特征及其与情绪平衡性的关系提供了初步的神经生理证据。

关键词: 经前期综合征, 月经周期, 黄体晚期, 正性情绪, 奖赏进程, 奖赏正波, θ频段, 时频分析


Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to a series of physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms that occur periodically in women during the late luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. It peaks within a week before menses and improves or disappears after the onset of menses. PMS occurs in 30%~40% of females at reproductive-age and can have deleterious effects on the social functioning and interpersonal relationships for those with PMS during the late luteal phase. Therefore, the potential causes and mechanisms of PMS have attracted researchers' attention. Affect balance is an important basis for maintaining mental health and the imbalance of positive and negative affect might be one of the causes of PMS. However, previous studies on the mechanism of PMS mostly focused on the increase of negative affect. Only limited studies explored the decrease of positive affect. Built upon the strong link between positive affect and reward processing, the present study aims to explore the causes of positive affect deficiencies tied to the dysfunctional reward processing during PMS.

Despite the lack of consensus on the diagnostic criteria of PMS, one of the most widely used diagnostic criteria for PMS are from John Bancroft's recommendations, which have been translated into the PMS Scale in Chinese. Of the 259 women who were asked to self-assess using this scale, 45 right-handed females (23 with PMS and 22 without PMS) with regular menstrual cycle voluntarily participated in this study. After completing a series of questionnaires, a simple gambling task was used to elicit reward positivity (RewP, 250~350 ms), an event-related potential (ERP) component elicited by feedback indicating gain versus loss. All participants completed this task twice, once in the late luteal and the other in the early follicular phase, respectively. In addition to ERP analysis, we also conducted time-frequency analysis to examine the neural oscillations underlying the reward processing.

Questionnaire results showed that women with PMS reported lower levels of happiness and calmness than healthy women, and their affect balance was also lower than that of healthy women, independent of menstrual cycle. Electrophysiological results suggested that in the late luteal phase, compared with healthy women, women with PMS were characterized by reduced RewP responses towards monetary gains, but not towards monetary losses. Further correlational analysis showed that the amplitude of RewP to gain feedback and difference wave amplitude in women with PMS was related to the affect balance in the late luteal phase. Time-frequency analysis showed that the theta-band (4~7 Hz, 250~4000 ms) power to gain feedback in PMS group was lower than that of healthy group in the late luteal phase.

Taken together, the amplitude of RewP and the theta-band power are related to reward processing. Results showed that in the late luteal phase, the amplitude of RewP and the theta-band power in women with PMS were lower than that in healthy women, and the amplitude of RewP was related to affect balance for women with PMS. These results suggest that the altered neurophysiological response in reward processing of women with PMS may be one of the causes of their low positive affect and affect imbalance in the late luteal phase. Our findings provide a basis for PMS intervention from the perspective of increasing positive affect, which supplements and enriches previous interventions mostly based on reducing negative affect.

Key words: premenstrual syndrome, menstrual cycle, late luteal phase, positive affect, reward processing, reward positivity, theta-band, time-frequency analysis


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