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J Autism Dev Disord. 2019 Mar;49(3):871-886. doi: 10.1007/s10803-018-3787-3.

Enhanced Early Visual Responses During Implicit Emotional Faces Processing in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Author information

1
UMR 1253, iBrain, Université de Tours, Inserm, Centre Universitaire de PédoPsychiatrie, Tours, France. klara.kovarski@gmail.com.
2
Department of Diagnostic Imaging, The Hospital for the Sick Children, Toronto, Canada. klara.kovarski@gmail.com.
3
Department of Diagnostic Imaging, The Hospital for the Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.
4
Laboratoire de neurosciences cognitives, INSERM U960, Département d'études cognitives, École Normale Supérieure, PSL Research University, Paris, France.
5
Neurosciences & Mental Health Program, The Hospital for the Sick Children Research Institute, Toronto, Canada.
6
Department of Medical Imaging, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
7
Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
8
CERPPS, Université de Toulouse, Toulouse, France.

Abstract

Research on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has focused on processing of socially-relevant stimuli, such as faces. Nonetheless, before being 'social', faces are visual stimuli. The present magnetoencephalography study investigated the time course of brain activity during an implicit emotional task in visual emotion-related regions in 19 adults with ASD (mean age 26.3 ± 4.4) and 19 typically developed controls (26.4 ± 4). The results confirmed previously-reported differences between groups in brain responses to emotion and a hypo-activation in the ASD group in the right fusiform gyrus around 150 ms. However, the ASD group also presented early enhanced activity in the occipital region. These results support that impaired face processing in ASD might be sustained by atypical responses in primary visual areas.

KEYWORDS:

Autism; Emotion; Face processing; MEG; Visual processing

PMID:
30374763
DOI:
10.1007/s10803-018-3787-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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