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Neuroreport. 2003 Mar 24;14(4):559-63.

fMRI study of recognition of facial expressions in high-functioning autistic patients.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, University school of medicine, 20-I, Handayama I-chome, Hamamatsu 431-3192, Japan.


Autistic disorder is associated with deficits in social function. The disorder may be related to dysfunction in the brain regions that are involved in the process of recognising facial expressions of other persons. Using fMRI, we investigated whether autistic patients with relatively high IQ would have different brain activation on the tasks of recognition of facial expressions (i.e. faces expressing disgust, fear, and happiness) compared with normal control subjects. In disgust and fear recognition tasks, there were different patterns of brain activation in the cortico-limbic neural circuits qbetween autistic and normal groups. Patients with autistic disorder may have difficulty in grasping facially expressed qemotions in others, and thereby cannot manipulate the interpersonally derived information.

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