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Amygdala Damage Impairs Eye Contact During Conversations with Real People

Spezio, Michael L. and Huang, Po-Yin Samuel and Castelli, Fulvia and Adolphs, Ralph (2007) Amygdala Damage Impairs Eye Contact During Conversations with Real People. Journal of Neuroscience, 27 (15). pp. 3994-3997. ISSN 0270-6474. PMCID PMC6672539. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3789-06.2007.

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The role of the human amygdala in real social interactions remains essentially unknown, although studies in nonhuman primates and studies using photographs and video in humans have shown it to be critical for emotional processing and suggest its importance for social cognition. We show here that complete amygdala lesions result in a severe reduction in direct eye contact during conversations with real people, together with an abnormal increase in gaze to the mouth. These novel findings from real social interactions are consistent with an hypothesized role for the amygdala in autism and the approach taken here opens up new directions for quantifying social behavior in humans.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Adolphs, Ralph0000-0002-8053-9692
Additional Information:© 2007 Society for Neuroscience. Received Aug. 31, 2006; revised Jan. 14, 2007; accepted Feb. 19, 2007. This work was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Cure Autism Now Foundation, Autism Speaks/National Alliance for Autism Research, and the Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow Program. We thank Nick Annunziata for his expert participation as the actor in our experiments, Lisa Lyons for help with programming the automated face detector, and Sol Simpson for advice and guidance in the analysis of fixation data.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)UNSPECIFIED
Cure Autism Now FoundationUNSPECIFIED
National Alliance for Autism ResearchUNSPECIFIED
Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:social cognition; face gaze; lesion; autism; amygdala; eye position; facial
Issue or Number:15
PubMed Central ID:PMC6672539
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170208-104926986
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Official Citation:Amygdala Damage Impairs Eye Contact During Conversations with Real People Michael L. Spezio, Po-Yin Samuel Huang, Fulvia Castelli,, Ralph Adolphs Journal of Neuroscience 11 April 2007, 27 (15) 3994-3997; DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3789-06.2007
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:74156
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Feb 2017 20:09
Last Modified:04 Mar 2022 16:44

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