Correlations among salivary testosterone, mood, and selective attention to threat in humans

Horm Behav. 1999 Aug;36(1):17-24. doi: 10.1006/hbeh.1999.1521.


An experiment was designed to investigate the relation among salivary testosterone, mood, and selective attention to threat. The participant group consisted of 32 nonclinical subjects (16 men and 16 women). Individuals completed the Profile Of Mood States (POMS) and performed a pictorial emotional Stroop task measuring selective attention to angry faces. Anticipating a time lag between testosterone (as measured in saliva) and cognitive emotional behavior, multiple time-coursed saliva samples were taken preceding the assessment of questionnaire and task for every subject. In both sexes, salivary testosterone was significantly related to mood (i.e., anger and tension) and selective attention to angry faces when saliva samples were taken 6 h before questionnaire and task assessment. Research on the relation between testosterone and human behavior might benefit by taking into account time lags between the behavioral manifestations and the continuously changing levels of testosterone.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect / physiology*
  • Anger / physiology
  • Arousal / physiology*
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Discrimination Learning / physiology
  • Facial Expression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Saliva / metabolism*
  • Social Perception
  • Testosterone / physiology*


  • Testosterone