Prenatal Testosterone in Mind
Amniotic Fluid Studies
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Prenatal Testosterone in Mind by Simon Baron-Cohen
Book DescriptionThis pioneering study looks at the effects of prenatal testosterone on postnatal development and behavior. Hormonal effects on behavior have long been studied in animals; the unique contribution of this book is to suggest a connection between human fetal hormones and later behavior. It details for the first time testosterone's effect on social and language development, opening a new avenue of research for cognitive neuroscience. The authors look at samples of amniotic fluid taken during amniocentesis at 16 weeks' gestation, and relate the fetal level of testosterone (which is present in fetuses of both sexes, although in different quantities) to behavior at ages 1, 2, and 4 years. They argue that the amniotic fluid provides a window into the child's past -- a chemical record of that child's time in the womb -- that allows informed prediction about the child's future brain, mind, and behavior. This is not the retrospective speculation of psychoanalysis, they point out, but an opportunity to study development prospectively and trace developmental precursors and causes of later cognition. The study suggests that prenatal levels of testosterone affect a range of later behaviors in children, from the inclination to make eye contact with others to the size of the vocabulary. It also suggests that prenatal testosterone level may be related to the development of typically "masculine" and "feminine" behaviors. The study's ongoing research explores whether fetal testosterone has any link with the risk of developing autism. Connecting endocrinology and psychology, the authors propose that there is a biological component to behaviors often thought to be produced by the social environment.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780262524568
(203mm x 136mm x 12mm)
Imprint: Bradford Books
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Publish Date: 17-Feb-2006
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Simon Baron-Cohen
Teaching Children with Autism to Mind-Read, Paperback (January 2015)
This workbook expands upon the authors? Teaching Children with Autism to Mind-Read: A Practical Guide to present the most effective approaches, strategies, and practical guidelines to help alleviate social and communication problems in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
Understanding Other Minds, Paperback (August 2013)
This book comprises 26 exciting chapters by internationally renowned scholars, addressing the central psychological proces separating humans from other animals: the ability to imagine the thoughts and feelings of othersm and to reflect on the contents of our own minds - a "theory of mind" (ToM).
Science of Evil, Paperback (September 2012)
A pathbreaking autism researcher explores why some people lack empathy and what that absence means for our psychological understanding of evil.
Zero Degrees of Empathy, Paperback (June 2012)» View all books by Simon Baron-Cohen
Is it possible that - rather than thinking in terms of 'good' and 'evil' - all of us instead lie somewhere on the empathy spectrum, and our position on that spectrum can be affected by both genes and our environments? Why do some people treat others as objects? This book examines an understanding in a study of what it means to be human.
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Author Biography - Simon Baron-Cohen
Rebecca Knickmeyer is a doctoral candidate at the Autism Research Centre.
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