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Paper on infants' performance in mental rotation tasks published in Developmental Science

last modified Nov 17, 2017 11:38 AM
The GDRC's Dr Miha Constantinescu and Prof Melissa Hines have a paper published in Developmental Science showing a correlation between testosterone and infants' performance in mental rotation tasks.
The paper, co-authored with David Moore and Scott Johnson and entitled Early Contributions to Infants' Mental Rotation Abilities, can be found here.
This is the first study to provide evidence of a correlation between testosterone concentrations during the early postnatal testosterone surge (“mini-puberty”) and performance on a mental rotation task in boys at 5–6 months of age. The study is also the first to provide evidence of a relationship between parental attitudes about gender and mental rotation performance in girls at 5–6 months of age.
The study is the first to provide evidence of an early postnatal surge in salivary testosterone. Previously, this surge has been seen in serum and urine samples, but not in saliva samples. Our data suggest that the surge can also be detected using saliva samples in infants at 1–2.5 months of age. This study reports a moderate-to-large gender difference in infants’ mental rotation abilities at 5–6 months of age, with male infants more likely to show mental rotation ability than female infants.

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