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Nat Neurosci. 2005 Aug;8(8):991-3. Epub 2005 Jul 10.

Neural correlates of genetically abnormal social cognition in Williams syndrome.

Author information

1
Section on Integrative Neuroimaging, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA. andreasml@nih.gov

Abstract

Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS), caused by a microdeletion of approximately 21 genes on chromosome 7q11.23, is characterized by unique hypersociability combined with increased non-social anxiety. Using functional neuroimaging, we found reduced amygdala activation in individuals with WBS for threatening faces but increased activation for threatening scenes, relative to matched normal controls. Activation and interactions of prefrontal regions linked to amygdala, especially orbitofrontal cortex, were abnormal, suggesting a genetically controlled neural circuitry for regulating human social behavior.

PMID:
16007084
DOI:
10.1038/nn1494
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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