Facial coloration tracks changes in women's estradiol

Jones, B. C. , Hahn, A. C. , Fisher, C. I., Wincenciak, J. , Kandrik, M., Roberts, S. C., Little, A. C. and Debruine, L. M. (2015) Facial coloration tracks changes in women's estradiol. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 56, pp. 29-34. (doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.02.021) (PMID:25796069)

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Red facial coloration is an important social cue in many primate species, including humans. In such species, the vasodilatory effects of estradiol may cause red facial coloration to change systematically during females’ ovarian cycle. Although increased red facial coloration during estrus has been observed in female mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx) and rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), evidence linking primate facial color changes directly to changes in measured estradiol is lacking. Addressing this issue, we used a longitudinal design to demonstrate that red facial coloration tracks within-subject changes in women's estradiol, but not within-subject changes in women's progesterone or estradiol-to-progesterone ratio. Moreover, the relationship between estradiol and facial redness was observed in two independent samples of women (N = 50 and N = 65). Our results suggest that changes in facial coloration may provide cues of women's fertility and present the first evidence for a direct link between estradiol and female facial redness in a primate species.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hahn, Dr Amanda and Wincenciak, Dr Joanna and DeBruine, Professor Lisa and Jones, Professor Benedict and Fisher, Dr Claire
Authors: Jones, B. C., Hahn, A. C., Fisher, C. I., Wincenciak, J., Kandrik, M., Roberts, S. C., Little, A. C., and Debruine, L. M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Psychoneuroendocrinology
ISSN (Online):1873-3360
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 The Authors
First Published:First published in Psychoneuroendocrinology 56:29-34
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
629591Preference versus choice: How experimental tests of face preferences relate to actual partner choiceLisa DebruineEconomic & Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/I031022/1RI NEUROSCIENCE & PSYCHOLOGY