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Sex specific relationships between infants' mental rotation ability and amiotic sex hormones

Erdmann, Kathrin and Schaal, Nora K. and Meinlschmidt, Gunther and Tegethoff, Marion and Fröhlich, Susanne and Kozlowski, Peter and Rivet, Noëllie and Jamey, Carole and Reix, Nathalie and Kintz, Pascal and Raul, Jean-Sébastien and Heil, Martin. (2019) Sex specific relationships between infants' mental rotation ability and amiotic sex hormones. Neuroscience letters, 707. p. 134298.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/73932/

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Abstract

Sex differences in mental rotation, robust in adults, have recently been reported for infants' looking times although the pattern of results is not completely conclusive. In this context, organizational effects of gonadal steroids affecting the neural circuitry underlying spatial cognition could be (partly) responsible for the early sex difference. In the present study testosterone and estradiol levels measured in amniotic fluid via ultra performance liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry were used to examine the role of prenatal sex hormones on infants' looking times during mental rotation. N = 208 six-month-old infants participated in an expectation of violation task with 3D cube figures. Mental rotation was defined as the difference in looking times for familiar versus mirrored cube figures whereas vigilance was defined as the sum of both looking times. Sex differences were absent for mental rotation as well as for vigilance. Most importantly, however, for boys mental rotation but not vigilance was correlated with prenatal testosterone but not with estradiol. For girls mental rotation but not vigilance was correlated with prenatal estradiol but not with testosterone although it has to be noted that the testosterone values for girls suffered from a floor effect. Only 5% of the within-sex variance was due to prenatal sex hormones indicating small effects. These findings extend our knowledge concerning organizational effects of prenatal sex hormones on the brain circuitry underlying spatial cognition.
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Bereich Medizinische Fächer (Klinik) > Psychosomatik > Psychosomatik (Schäfert)
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Klinische Forschung > Bereich Medizinische Fächer (Klinik) > Psychosomatik > Psychosomatik (Schäfert)
07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Forschungsbereich Klinische Psychologie und Neurowissenschaften > Klinische Psychologie und Epidemiologie (Lieb)
UniBasel Contributors:Meinlschmidt, Gunther
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
ISSN:1872-7972
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Identification Number:
Last Modified:21 Aug 2020 13:27
Deposited On:21 Aug 2020 13:27

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