Hormone-behavior associations in early infancy. Academic Article uri icon


  • The physiological significance of hormonal changes in early postnatal life is emerging, but the behavioral significance in humans is unknown. As a first test of the relationship between hormones and behavior in early infancy we measured digit ratios and salivary hormone levels in forty-one male and female infants (3-4 months of age) who watched a video depicting stimuli differentially preferred by older males and females (toys, groups). An eye-tracker measured visual fixations and looking times. In female infants, hormones were unrelated to visual preferences. In male infants, higher androgen levels predicted stronger preferences for male-typical stimuli. These data provide the first evidence for a role for hormones in emerging sex-linked behavior in early development.

published proceedings

  • Horm Behav

altmetric score

  • 39.43

author list (cited authors)

  • Alexander, G. M., Wilcox, T., & Farmer, M. E.

citation count

  • 44

complete list of authors

  • Alexander, Gerianne M||Wilcox, Teresa||Farmer, Mary Elizabeth

publication date

  • January 2009