The present study focused on the relationship between salivary testosterone levels and cognitive styles of empathizing and systemizing in children with Asperger syndrome (AS). Fifty AS boys from Slovakia in the range from 6 to 18 years participated in the research. The control group consisted of 79 age/sex-matched boys from primary and grammar schools. Participants were divided into a pre-pubertal and pubertal group. The measures of empathizing/systemizing as well as additional measures (intuitive physics and folk psychology) were used. The group of AS boys scored lower in empathizing measures compared to the control boys. The pre-pubertal AS group was more systemized than their control peers. Salivary testosterone levels were lower in AS group. The study found positive correlation between salivary testosterone and folk psychology, and revealed a negative correlation between salivary testosterone and intuitive physics in pubertal boys. These findings are discussed with reference to the 'extreme male-brain' theory of autism.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.