Mind the Gap: Hormonal Contraceptives and Brain Health

Mind the Gap: Hormonal Contraceptives and Brain Health— Session 11: Workshop on Brain Imaging Studies

February 9, 2023, 11:00 am to 12:00 pm


This workshop is part of our virtual "Mind the Gap: Hormonal Contraceptives and Brain Health" series, which brings attention to the brain health issues that women+ face and encourage the medical, scientific and commercial communities to address them. In this session, we will hear from two renowned speakers who will discuss pertinent topics related to hormonal contraceptives and brain health issues that women+ face. 


11:00-11:05—Welcome Remarks

11:05-11:25—Speaker 1: Dr. Caitlin Taylor, University of California (SB), Santa Barbara, California, USA

11:25-11:45—Speaker 2: Dr. Alexandra Ycaza Herrera, University of Southern California, California, USA


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. Register for this individual event below. 

Individual Event Registration

caitlin taylor

Dr. Caitlin Taylor

Bio: Dr. Caitlin Taylor received her B.S. in Psychology and B.A. in French from Indiana University-Bloomington, and her PhD in Neuroscience from Georgetown University. Caitlin’s graduate work focused on investigating age- and experience-dependent modulation of coherent visual motion processing using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). As a postdoctoral fellow in the Jacobs Lab, Caitlin uses MRI to investigate the effects of oral contraceptive use on the brain, as well  to study the effects of sex hormones on the hippocampus. She is the recipient of a 2018 SAGE Junior Fellowship and the 2019 Harvey L. Karp Discovery Award. Outside of the lab, Caitlin is interested in sharing her love of science through science education and outreach.


Dr. Alexandra Ycaza Herrera

Talk Title: Neuroimaging with Hormonal Contraceptives: Navigating the Complexities of Contraceptive Phase and Progestin Generation

Talk Abstract: Designing studies aimed at understanding the impact of hormonal contraceptives goes beyond including hormonal contraceptive users in the study sample. Research has shown that a range of factors inherent to different hormonal contraceptive formulations can influence research outcomes, including contraceptive phase and progestin generation. In this talk, I will discuss what variables are important to account for when designing a neuroimaging study involving hormonal contraceptive users and how to control for some of these variables in your study.

Bio: Dr. Alexandra Ycaza Herrera is a Research Assistant Professor at the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California. Her research explores the ways in which sex steroid hormone fluctuations impact the stress response, cognition, and stress-cognition interactions. Dr. Ycaza Herrera is primarily interested in these relationships in women and explores how hormone shifts during the menstrual cycle, with hormonal contraceptive use, menopause, and postmenopausal hormone use impact the endocrine response to stress and the effects of stress on cognitive processes.


Jesse Lacasse

Bio: Jesse Lacasse is a Ph.D. (c) at Concordia University's Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology in Montréal, Quebec. His research focuses on the effects of hormonal contraceptives on the brain and cognition both in women and in female rats.

  • Mind the Gap: Hormonal Contraceptives and Brain Health
  • Workshop
  • hormonal contraceptives
  • imaging

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.

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