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J Autism Dev Disord. 2015 Nov;45(11):3409-23. doi: 10.1007/s10803-015-2359-z.

Neural Mechanisms of Emotion Regulation in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Author information

1
Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, CB# 3366, 101 Manning Drive, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-7160, USA.
2
Department of Psychology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA.
3
Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Davie Hall, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-3270, USA.
4
Geisinger-Autism and Developmental Medicine Institute, Lewisburg, PA, USA.
5
Duke-UNC Brain Imaging and Analysis Center, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, 27710, USA.
6
Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, CB# 7160, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-7160, USA.
7
Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY, 10065, USA.
8
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3026, Durham, NC, 27710, USA.
9
Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.
10
Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, CB# 3366, 101 Manning Drive, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-7160, USA. dichter@med.unc.edu.
11
Duke-UNC Brain Imaging and Analysis Center, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, 27710, USA. dichter@med.unc.edu.
12
Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, CB# 7160, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-7160, USA. dichter@med.unc.edu.
13
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3026, Durham, NC, 27710, USA. dichter@med.unc.edu.
14
Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Davie Hall, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-3270, USA. dichter@med.unc.edu.

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by high rates of comorbid internalizing and externalizing disorders. One mechanistic account of these comorbidities is that ASD is characterized by impaired emotion regulation (ER) that results in deficits modulating emotional responses. We assessed neural activation during cognitive reappraisal of faces in high functioning adults with ASD. Groups did not differ in looking time, pupilometry, or subjective ratings of faces during reappraisal. However, instructions to increase positive and negative emotional responses resulted in less increase in nucleus accumbens and amygdala activations (respectively) in the ASD group, and both regulation instructions resulted in less change in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activation in the ASD group. Results suggest a potential mechanistic account of impaired ER in ASD.

KEYWORDS:

Amygdala; Autism spectrum disorder; Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; Emotion regulation; Eyetracking; Nucleus accumbens

PMID:
25618212
PMCID:
PMC4515208
DOI:
10.1007/s10803-015-2359-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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