Effects of Fetal Testosterone on Visuospatial Ability

Bonnie Auyeung*, Rebecca Knickmeyer, Emma Ashwin, Kevin Taylor, Gerald Hackett, Simon Baron-Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study investigated whether fetal testosterone (FT) measured from second trimester amniotic fluid was related to specific aspects of visuospatial ability, in children aged 7-10 years (35 boys, 29 girls). A series of tasks were used: the children's Embedded Figures Test (EFT) (a test of attention to detail), a ball targeting task (measuring hand-eye coordination), and a computerized mental rotation task (measuring rotational ability). FT was a significant predictor for EFT scores in both boys and girls, with boys also showing a clear advantage for this task. No significant sex differences were observed in targeting. Boys scored higher than girls on mental rotation. However, no significant relationships were observed between FT and targeting or mental rotation. Girls' performance on the mental rotation and targeting tasks was significantly related to age, indicating that these tasks may have been too difficult for the younger children. These results indicate that FT has a significant role in some aspects of cognitive development but that further work is needed to understand its effect on the different aspects of visuospatial ability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-581
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of sexual behavior
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

Keywords

  • Mental rotation
  • GENDER-DIFFERENCES
  • SEX-DIFFERENCES
  • Fetal testosterone
  • Spatial ability
  • Sex differences
  • SPATIAL ABILITY
  • 21-HYDROXYLASE DEFICIENCY
  • MALE BRAIN THEORY
  • AUTISTIC TRAITS
  • GONADAL-HORMONES
  • DIGIT RATIO
  • CONGENITAL ADRENAL-HYPERPLASIA
  • MENTAL ROTATION

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of Fetal Testosterone on Visuospatial Ability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this