Neural correlates of socio-emotional perception in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome

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Background: Social impairments are described as a common feature of the 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS). However, the neural correlates underlying these impairments are largely unknown in this population. In this study, we investigated neural substrates of socio-emotional perception. Methods: We used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to explore neural activity in individuals with 22q11DS and healthy controls during the visualization of stimuli varying in social (social or non-social) or emotional (positive or negative valence) content. Results: Neural hyporesponsiveness in regions of the default mode network (inferior parietal lobule, precuneus, posterior and anterior cingulate cortex and frontal regions) in response to social versus non-social images was found in the 22q11DS population compared to controls. A similar pattern of activation for positive and negative emotional processing was observed in the two groups. No correlation between neural activation and social functioning was observed in patients with the 22q11DS. Finally, no social × valence interaction impairment was found in patients. Conclusions: Our results indicate atypical neural correlates of social perception in 22q11DS that appear to be independent of valence processing. Abnormalities in the social perception network may lead to social impairments observed in 22q11DS individuals.




Dubourg, L., Vrticka, P., Debbané, M., Chambaz, L., Eliez, S., & Schneider, M. (2018). Neural correlates of socio-emotional perception in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 10(1).

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