A failure to grasp the affective meaning of actions in autism spectrum disorder subjects
Neuropsychologia. 2009-07-01; 47(8-9): 1816-1825
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1. Neuropsychologia. 2009 Jul;47(8-9):1816-25. doi:
10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2009.02.021. Epub 2009 Feb 21.
A failure to grasp the affective meaning of actions in autism spectrum disorder
Grèzes J(1), Wicker B, Berthoz S, de Gelder B.
(1)Laboratoire de Neurosciences Cognitives, INSERM U960 & DEC, Ecole Normale
Supérieure, Paris, France.
The ability to grasp emotional messages in everyday gestures and respond to them
is at the core of successful social communication. The hypothesis that
abnormalities in socio-emotional behavior in people with autism are linked to a
failure to grasp emotional significance conveyed by gestures was explored. We
measured brain activity using fMRI during perception of fearful or neutral
actions and showed that whereas similar activation of brain regions known to
play a role in action perception was revealed in both autistics and controls,
autistics failed to activate amygdala, inferior frontal gyrus and premotor
cortex when viewing gestures expressing fear. Our results support the notion
that dysfunctions in this network may contribute significantly to the
characteristic communicative impairments documented in autism.
PMID: 19428413 [Indexed for MEDLINE]