Look me in the eyes: constraining gaze in the eye-region provokes abnormally high subcortical activation in autism.

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Version: Final published version
Serval ID
serval:BIB_676905E02B4A
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Look me in the eyes: constraining gaze in the eye-region provokes abnormally high subcortical activation in autism.
Journal
Scientific reports
Author(s)
Hadjikhani N., Åsberg Johnels J., Zürcher N.R., Lassalle A., Guillon Q., Hippolyte L., Billstedt E., Ward N., Lemonnier E., Gillberg C.
ISSN
2045-2322 (Electronic)
ISSN-L
2045-2322
Publication state
Published
Issued date
09/06/2017
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
7
Number
1
Pages
3163
Language
english
Notes
Publication types: Journal Article ; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Publication Status: epublish
Abstract
Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) seem to have difficulties looking others in the eyes, but the substrate for this behavior is not well understood. The subcortical pathway, which consists of superior colliculus, pulvinar nucleus of the thalamus, and amygdala, enables rapid and automatic face processing. A specific component of this pathway - i.e., the amygdala - has been shown to be abnormally activated in paradigms where individuals had to specifically attend to the eye-region; however, a direct examination of the effect of manipulating the gaze to the eye-regions on all the components of the subcortical system altogether has never been performed. The subcortical system is particularly important as it shapes the functional specialization of the face-processing cortex during development. Using functional MRI, we investigated the effect of constraining gaze in the eye-region during dynamic emotional face perception in groups of participants with ASD and typical controls. We computed differences in activation in the subcortical face processing system (superior colliculus, pulvinar nucleus of the thalamus and amygdala) for the same stimuli seen freely or with the gaze constrained in the eye-region. Our results show that when constrained to look in the eyes, individuals with ASD show abnormally high activation in the subcortical system, which may be at the basis of their eye avoidance in daily life.
Keywords
Adolescent, Adult, Amygdala/diagnostic imaging, Amygdala/physiopathology, Autism Spectrum Disorder/diagnostic imaging, Autism Spectrum Disorder/physiopathology, Case-Control Studies, Child, Evoked Potentials, Visual, Facial Recognition/physiology, Female, Fixation, Ocular/physiology, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Pulvinar/diagnostic imaging, Pulvinar/physiopathology, Superior Colliculi/diagnostic imaging, Superior Colliculi/physiopathology
Pubmed
Web of science
Open Access
Yes
Create date
22/06/2017 18:57
Last modification date
20/08/2019 15:22
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