Integrative SystemsAssociation of ovarian hormones with mapping concept of self and others in the brain’s default mode network.Wang, Jia-Xi; Zhuang, Jin-Ying*,; Fu, Lulu; Lei, Qin; Zhang, Weidong*,Author Information Department of Psychology, School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China *Jin-Ying Zhuang contributed equally to the writing of this article. Received 19 March 2020 Accepted 18 April 2020 Correspondence to Weidong Zhang, PhD, 3663 North Zhongshan Rd, Shanghai, 200062, China, Tel: +021 62233413; fax: +021 62230090; e-mail: email@example.com NeuroReport: July 10, 2020 - Volume 31 - Issue 10 - p 717-723 doi: 10.1097/WNR.0000000000001477 Buy Metrics Abstract The brain’s default mode network (DMN) has become closely associated with self-referential mental activity, particularly in the resting-state. Prior reports point that the sex hormones are potent modulators of brain plasticity and functional connectivity. However, it is uncertain whether changes in ovarian hormones, as occur during the monthly menstrual cycle, substantially affects the functional connectivity of DMN. Here, we employed a Self-Awareness Scale (SAS) and the resting-state functional MRI in the late follicular phase and the mid-luteal phase to investigate the effect of the estradiol (E2) and progesterone on the SAS and DMN. On the behavioral level, increased progesterone facilitated women’s other-focused attention. The regions of interest-based resting-state functional connectivity analyses continued to demonstrate a negative correlation of the relative progesterone and the medial prefrontal cortex-inferior temporal gyrus (mPFC-ITG) functional connectivity, and a facilitated effect of relative E2 on the mPFC-inferior parietal lobule functional connectivity in the DMN. Furthermore, as a core hub of the ‘theory of mind’, the functional connectivity between the ITG and thalamus was found negatively correlated with the relative E2. Meanwhile, the mid-luteal phase, which had significantly lower relative E2 levels, was indicated had stronger ITG-thalamus functional connectivity during the resting state. These results demonstrated an opposite effect of E2 and progesterone on the DMN and the other-focused preference in the mid-luteal phase, extended previous evidence of the potentially adaptive psychological effects of ovarian hormones on mapping self and others in the brain networks. Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.