Mind the Gap: Hormonal Contraceptives and Brain Health

Mind the Gap: Hormonal Contraceptives and Brain Health—Session 1: Keynote Talk with Dr. Elizabeth Hampson

October 5, 2022, 10:00 am to 11:15 am

brain illustration

This is the first event in the virtual "Mind the Gap: Hormonal Contraceptives and Brain Health" series. Following Dr. Liisa Galea's opening remarks for the series, keynote speaker Dr. Elizabeth Hampson will engage in a talk about oral contraceptives and the potential effects they have in the central nervous system. Attendees will also get a chance to join the conversation during a Q&A period to close the session.


10:00-10:10—Opening conference remarks with Dr. Liisa Galea

10:10-10:20—Program overview with Jesse Lacasse

10:20-11:00—Keynote Talk: Dr. Elizabeth Hampson


Individual Event Cost

General Public: $15

Students: $10

We offer you the option of registering for individual events or signing up for the entire series. Video recordings of our conference sessions will be sent to all registrants following each event. Click here to learn more about the conference, or register for this individual event below. 

Individual Event Registration


Dr. Liisa Galea, PhD

Lead of Women's Health Research Cluster, Professor in Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, Scientific Advisor at the Women's Health Research Institute.


Dr. Elizabeth Hampson

Talk Title: An Introduction to Oral Contraceptives and Their Potential Effects in the Central Nervous System 

Talk Abstract: Oral contraceptives (OCs) potentially have effects in the central nervous system (CNS), but historically such effects have been understudied. In the last decade increasing numbers of studies have begun to investigate CNS variables. These include possible effects of OCs on mood, cognitive processes, motor function, perception, and other types of psychological or behavioral processes. Many beginning-level researchers, however, possess an unsophisticated understanding of OCs and how they work. Misconceptions have limited the ability to advance knowledge of OC effects in the CNS, and are a frustrating obstacle to publication for new researchers. This talk will introduce the audience to some of the basic fundamentals of OC administration and OC pharmacology that are relevant to brain-related studies, and will outline a few common misconceptions about OCs that have hindered progress in the field. We will also discuss data related to OCs and mood and/or spatial cognition, using datasets from our own laboratory as illustrations. Providing a few methodological signposts for new researchers can facilitate and promote a better-informed scientific community over the next few years.

Bio: Dr. Elizabeth Hampson is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Western University, a member of Western's Graduate Program in Neuroscience, and a member of the Brain and Mind Institute. She holds a cross-appointment in the Department of Psychiatry at the Schulich School of Medicine. Her work on reproductive hormones in the human nervous system and their implications for cognitive function, memory, aging, and mood has been internationally recognized for more than two decades. Dr. Hampson has received the Curt P. Richter Prize for advances in neuroendocrinology, and has been supported by a Chair in Women's Health from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. She serves on the editorial boards of a number of peer-reviewed scientific journals, and is a member of the advisory board of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology. As an invited member of a Washington-based expert panel, the Isis Fund Network on "Sex, Gender, Drugs and the Brain", and as an independent researcher, Dr. Hampson's work has helped to highlight the importance of sex as a biological variable in medical research. She is also a founding member of the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences.

  • Mind the Gap: Hormonal Contraceptives and Brain Health
  • cognition
  • hormonal contraceptives
  • hormones
  • mental health
  • mood

First Nations land acknowledegement

We acknowledge that the UBC Point Grey campus is situated on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people.

UBC Crest The official logo of the University of British Columbia. Urgent Message An exclamation mark in a speech bubble. Caret An arrowhead indicating direction. Arrow An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Chats Two speech clouds. Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. Information The letter 'i' in a circle. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. External Link An arrow entering a square. Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Location Pin A map location pin. Mail An envelope. Menu Three horizontal lines indicating a menu. Minus A minus sign. Telephone An antique telephone. Plus A plus symbol indicating more or the ability to add. Search A magnifying glass. Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service.