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Affiliative behavior in Williams syndrome: Social perception and real-life social behavior

Järvinen-Pasley, Anna and Adolphs, Ralph and Yam, Anna and Hill, Kiley J. and Grichanik, Mark and Reilly, Judy and Mills, Debra and Reiss, Allan L. and Korenberg, Julie R. and Bellugi, Ursula (2010) Affiliative behavior in Williams syndrome: Social perception and real-life social behavior. Neuropsychologia, 48 (7). pp. 2110-2119. ISSN 0028-3932. PMCID PMC2881624.

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A frequently noted but largely anecdotal behavioral observation in Williams syndrome (WS) is an increased tendency to approach strangers, yet the basis for this behavior remains unknown. We examined the relationship between affect identification ability and affiliative behavior in participants with WS relative to a neurotypical comparison group. We quantified social behavior from self-judgments of approachability for faces, and from parent/other evaluations of real life. Relative to typical individuals, participants with WS were perceived as more sociable by others, exhibited perceptual deficits in affect identification, and judged faces of strangers as more approachable. In WS, high self-rated willingness to approach strangers was correlated with poor affect identification ability, suggesting that these two findings may be causally related. We suggest that the real-life hypersociability in WS may arise at least in part from abnormal perceptual processing of other people's faces, rather than from an overall bias at the level of behavior. While this did not achieve statistical significance, it provides preliminary evidence to suggest that impaired social-perceptual ability may play a role in increased approachability in WS.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Adolphs, Ralph0000-0002-8053-9692
Additional Information:© 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Received 24 August 2009; revised 21 March 2010; accepted 31 March 2010. Available online 10 April 2010. This study was supported by a grant P01 HD033113-13 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NIHP01 HD033113-13
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Williams syndrome; Social behavior; Perception; Facial expression; Affect
Issue or Number:7
PubMed Central ID:PMC2881624
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100713-114651561
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:19029
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:13 Jul 2010 20:28
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 01:51

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