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Extra Testosterone Levels Reduce One’s Empathy: Study

A study conducted by the researchers at the Cambridge University and the Utrecht University found out that administrating testosterone under ones’ tongue can negatively affect one’s ability to “read mind”, a sign of empathy.

Professor Jack van Honk and Professor Simon Baron-Cohen used a test to read the mind of the volunteers. 16 young women were asked to infer a person’s thoughts and feelings from photographs of the facial expression, around the eyes. Since women usually have low testosterone levels than men they were chosen as subjects.

The researchers noticed a reduction in the mind reading ability of the volunteers. Not only this, the effect of testosterone is also predicted by 2D:4D ratios, prenatal testosterone marker. Prenatal testosterone level also decides its effects on our mind at a later stage.Even a small difference in the hormonal levels can have a big impact on the empathy.The study can help in understanding why autism affects men more than women as individuals with autism have trouble reading mind. The research which is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences can support the androgen theory of autism.

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