Send to

Choose Destination
Arch Sex Behav. 2012 Jun;41(3):571-81. doi: 10.1007/s10508-011-9864-8. Epub 2011 Oct 27.

Effects of fetal testosterone on visuospatial ability.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Douglas House, 18B Trumpington Rd., Cambridge, CB2 8AH, UK.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center