Aims: To test the relationship between prenatal sex steroid hormone levels (such as testosterone and oestrogen) and later behaviour, cognition, neural structure and function and clinical diagnosis.
Background: It is well established that prenatal sex steroid hormones change postnatal behaviour, cognition, and brain structure and function.
Method: We follow the babies of women who underwent amniocentesis during pregnancy, to look across their child’s development on a range of outcomes.
Results: These will appear on our website.
Importance: This longitudinal study allows us to study the effects of these key hormones that influence sex differences in the brain and behaviour postnatally.
Relevance: This work is most relevant to neuroendocrinologists and neuroscientists, but may also have relevance for understanding the causes of autism and of typical sex differences in brain and mind.
Funding: The Medical Research Council; the Wellcome Trust; the Autism Research Trust.
- Fetal oestrogens and autism, Molecular Psychiatry (2019), S Baron-Cohen, A Tsompanidis, B Auyeung, B Nřrgaard-Pedersen, D M Hougaard, M Abdallah, A Cohen, A Pohl
- Polycystic ovary syndrome and autism: A test of the prenatal sex steroid theory, Translational Psychiatry 10.1038/s41398-018-0186-7 (2018), Cherskov, A, Pohl, A, Allison, C, Zhang, H, Payne, A, R, Baron-Cohen, S
- Sex-specific impact of prenatal androgens on social brain default mode subsystems, Molecular Psychiatry 10.1038/s41380-018-0198-y (2018), M Lombardo, B Auyeung, T Pramparo, A Quartier, J Courraud, R J Holt, J Waldman, A N V Ruigrok, N Mooney, R A I Bethlehem, M Lai, P Kundu, E T Bullmore, J Mandel, A Piton, S Baron-Cohen
- Elevated fetal steroidogenic activity in autism, Molecular Psychiatry 20:369-376 (2015), S Baron-Cohen, B Auyeung, B Nřrgaard-Pedersen, D Hougaard, M Abdallah, L Melgaard, A Cohen, B Chakrabarti, L Ruta, and M Lombardo
- Prenatal and postnatal hormone effects on the human brain and cognition, 465:557-571 (2013), B. Auyeung M. V. Lombardo S. Baron-Cohen
- Prenatal versus postnatal sex steroid hormone effects on autistic traits in children at 18 to 24 months of age, Molecular Autism 03:17 (2012), B Auyeung, J Ahluwalia, L Thomson, K Taylor, G Hackett, K J O'Donnell S Baron-Cohen