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Patterns of Sensitivity to Emotion in Children with Williams Syndrome and Autism: Relations Between Autonomic Nervous System Reactivity and Social Functioning

Järvinen, Anna and Ng, Rowena and Crivelli, Davide and Neumann, Dirk and Grichanik, Mark and Arnold, Andrew J. and Lai, Philip and Trauner, Doris and Bellugi, Ursula (2015) Patterns of Sensitivity to Emotion in Children with Williams Syndrome and Autism: Relations Between Autonomic Nervous System Reactivity and Social Functioning. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45 (8). pp. 2594-2612. ISSN 0162-3257.

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Williams syndrome (WS) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are associated with atypical social-emotional functioning. Affective visual stimuli were used to assess autonomic reactivity and emotion identification, and the social responsiveness scale was used to determine the level social functioning in children with WS and ASD contrasted with typical development (TD), to examine syndrome-specific and syndrome-general features. Children with ASD exhibited the highest arousal in response to faces, with a lack of difference in autonomic sensitivity across different emotional expressions, unlike in WS and TD. The WS group demonstrated unique deficits in identifying neutral stimuli. While autonomic responsivity to neutral faces was associated with social functioning in all children, converging profiles characterized children with WS contrasted with TD and ASD.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Trauner, Doris0000-0002-6782-6056
Additional Information:© 2015 Springer. Published online: 24 March 2015. This research was supported by NICHD 033113, NINDS 22343, and The Oak Tree Philanthropic Foundation to UB. We warmly thank all the participants, their families, and the Williams Syndrome Association for their generous cooperation in these studies. We also thank Patricia Fillet, Courtney Pollock, Wenny Wong, Nicholas Woo-VonHoogestyn, and Molly Hanson for their assistance in the data collection. Illustrations copyright Ursula Bellugi, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA 92037-1002.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)033113
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)22343
Oak Tree Philanthropic FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Autonomic nervous system; Emotion; Autism spectrum disorder; Williams syndrome; Social behavior; Social functioning
Issue or Number:8
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150825-105308392
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:59882
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:25 Aug 2015 18:18
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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