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Neuropsychology. 2000 Jan;14(1):71-81.

Salivary testosterone concentrations in left-handers: an association with cerebral language lateralization?

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.


The level of testosterone exposure in early brain development may influence the direction or degree of cerebral language lateralization. Possible links between individual differences in testosterone levels and patterns of speech representation were investigated in 180 healthy young adults (97 left handed, 83 right handed) using the Fused Dichotic Words Test (T. Halwes, 1991). Among left-handed participants, significantly higher testosterone concentrations were observed in individuals with a left-ear advantage on dichotic listening than in individuals with a right-ear advantage. Among right-handed participants, the pattern of group differences in testosterone tended to be reversed, resulting in a statistically significant interaction. Results extend prior findings by S. D. Moffat and E. Hampson (1996a) and raise the possibility that higher testosterone is associated with patterns of brain organization in which speech and praxic functions are lateralized to the same hemisphere.

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