The influence of prenatal and pubertal testosterone on brain lateralisation

Tess Beking

University of Groningen

I am a PhD student at the University of Groningen, in cooperation with the VU Medical Center in Amsterdam. My research project is very interdisciplinary, I work at Neuropsychology, Behavioural Biology, Neuroimaging, and sometimes at the Center of Expertise on Gender Dysphoria in Amsterdam. In my project I investigate the effect of sex hormones on brain lateralization in two ways: 1) I investigate the influence of prenatal (measured in amniotic fluid) and pubertal sex hormones in healthy children of 15 years old, 2) I investigate the effect of cross-sex hormone treatment in adolescents diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria.

Background

Several studies have examined the role of sex hormones on sexual differentiation of the brain. We investigate the influence of prenatal and pubertal testosterone on the development of brain lateralisation. Brain lateralisation... [ view full abstract ]

Aim(s)

There is long standing debate to what extent individual differences in lateralisation are due to variation in early or late exposure to testosterone. We use a unique data set to test this: [ view full abstract ]

Methods

In the year 2000, prenatal testosterone levels were measured in the amniotic fluid of pregnant women. In the year 2015, brain lateralisation and cognitive performance is assessed in the children born from these pregnancies (30... [ view full abstract ]

Main Outcome Measures

Brain lateralisation of verbal fluency, mental rotation and facial emotion processing is measured with functional transcranial Doppler sonography (fTCD). Tanner's stage is assessed via an online questionnaire. [ view full abstract ]

Results

When only prenatal testosterone levels were included in the analysis, no effects on brain lateralisation were found. However, when both prenatal and pubertal testosterone levels were included in the analysis, we find... [ view full abstract ]

Conclusion

It is important to take both prenatal and pubertal testosterone into account. The effect of testosterone on brain lateralisation is task-dependent. [ view full abstract ]

Authors

  1. Tess Beking (University of Groningen)
  2. Reint Geuze (University of Groningen)
  3. Baudewijntje Kreukels (VUMC)
  4. Ton Groothuis (University of Groningen)

Topic Area

Oral & Poster Topics: Endocrinology

Session

OS-3C » Endocrinology III: Neurobiology (11:15 - Saturday, 8th April, Atlantic 3)

Presentation Files

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