Neural Correlates of Genetically Abnormal Social Cognition in Williams Syndrome

Nat Neurosci. 2005 Aug;8(8):991-3. doi: 10.1038/nn1494. Epub 2005 Jul 10.

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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / physiopathology
  • Anxiety / physiopathology
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cognition*
  • Frontal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiopathology
  • Social Behavior*
  • Williams Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Williams Syndrome / psychology*