Testosterone and nonverbal intelligence in right-handed men with successful and unsuccessful educational levels

Kutlu N., Ekerbicer N., Ari Z., Uyanik B., Zeren T., Tan U.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE, vol.111, pp.1-9, 2001 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


The relationship between serum total testosterone (T) concentration and fluid intelligence (nonverbal, spatial) was studied in consistently right-handed men with successful (S) or unsuccessful educational levels (NS). Hand preference was assessed by the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory. Nonverbal intelligence vas measured by Cattell's Culture Fair Intelligence Test. Serum T level was determined using chemiluminescence enzyme-immunoassay on hormone autoanalyzer. There was no significant difference between the mean T levels of the S subjects and NS subjects, although S-men tended to have higher T levels than NS-men. The mean IQ was found to be significantly higher in S-men than NS-men. In the total sample (S + NS men), the correlation between T to IQ was best described by a polynomial regression (3(rd) order), exhibiting an inverse U-shaped regression. In S-men, the relationship between T and IQ was best described by a polynomial regression equation of the 3(rd) order; however, the relationship was not U-shaped, but rather a positive correlation (low T: low IQ and high T high IQ). In NS-men, there was an inverse U-shaped correlation between T and IQ (log, and very high T: low IQ and moderate T: high IQ). The present data suggest that (i) very lox, and very high serum T concentrations may be disadvantageous, (ii) moderate T levels may be advantageous for general fluid intelligence, and (iii) a prewired cerebral organization may be essential for the T effects on cognitive abilities.