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Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders

, 6:32

First Online: 14 August 2014Received: 24 March 2014Accepted: 21 July 2014


BackgroundImpaired social functioning is a common symptom of individuals with developmental disruptions in callosal connectivity. Among these developmental conditions, agenesis of the corpus callosum provides the most extreme and clearly identifiable example of callosal disconnection. To date, deficits in nonliteral language comprehension, humor, theory of mind, and social reasoning have been documented in agenesis of the corpus callosum. Here, we examined a basic social ability as yet not investigated in this population: recognition of facial emotion and its association with social gaze.

MethodsNine individuals with callosal agenesis and nine matched controls completed four tasks involving emotional faces: emotion recognition from upright and inverted faces, gender recognition, and passive viewing. Eye-tracking data were collected concurrently on all four tasks and analyzed according to designated facial regions of interest.

ResultsIndividuals with callosal agenesis exhibited impairments in recognizing emotions from upright faces, in particular lower accuracy for fear and anger, and these impairments were directly associated with diminished attention to the eye region. The callosal agenesis group exhibited greater consistency in emotion recognition across conditions upright vs. inverted, with poorest performance for fear identification in both conditions. The callosal agenesis group also had atypical facial scanning lower fractional dwell time in the eye region during gender naming and passive viewing of faces, but they did not differ from controls on gender naming performance. The pattern of results did not differ when taking into account full-scale intelligence quotient or presence of autism spectrum symptoms.

ConclusionsAgenesis of the corpus callosum results in a pattern of atypical facial scanning characterized by diminished attention to the eyes. This pattern suggests that reduced callosal connectivity may contribute to the development and maintenance of emotion processing deficits involving reduced attention to others- eyes.

KeywordsCorpus callosum agenesis Corpus callosum Facial emotion AbbreviationsAgCCagenesis of the corpus callosum

ASDautism spectrum disorder

CIconfidence interval

FSIQfull-scale intelligence quotient


ROIregion of interest.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1866-1955-6-32 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Matthew W Bridgman - Warren S Brown - Michael L Spezio - Matthew K Leonard - Ralph Adolphs - Lynn K Paul

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/

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