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Anomalous brain activation during face and gaze processing in Williams syndrome

Mobbs, D. and Garrett, A. S. and Menon, V. and Rose, F. E. and Bellugi, U. and Reiss, A. L. (2004) Anomalous brain activation during face and gaze processing in Williams syndrome. Neurology, 62 (11). pp. 2070-2076. ISSN 0028-3878. doi:10.1212/01.wnl.0000129536.95274.dc.

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OBJECTIVE: To investigate the discrete neural systems that underlie relatively preserved face processing skills in Williams syndrome (WS). METHODS: The authors compared face and eye-gaze direction processing abilities in 11 clinically and genetically diagnosed WS subjects with 11 healthy age- and sex-matched controls, using functional MRI (fMRI). RESULTS: Compared to controls, WS subjects showed a strong trend toward being less accurate in determining the direction of gaze and had significantly longer response latencies. Significant increases in activation were observed in the right fusiform gyrus (FuG) and several frontal and temporal regions for the WS group. By comparison, controls showed activation in the bilateral FuG, occipital, and temporal lobes. Between-group analysis showed WS subjects to have more extensive activation in the right inferior, superior, and medial frontal gyri, anterior cingulate, and several subcortical regions encompassing the anterior thalamus and caudate. Conversely, controls had greater activation in the primary and secondary visual cortices. CONCLUSION: The observed patterns of activation in WS subjects suggest a preservation of neural functioning within frontal and temporal regions, presumably resulting from task difficulty or compensatory mechanisms. Persons with WS may possess impairments in visual cortical regions, possibly disrupting global-coherence and visuospatial aspects of face and gaze processing.

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Mobbs, D.0000-0003-1175-3772
Additional Information:© 2004 by AAN Enterprises, Inc. Received July 17, 2003. Accepted in final form February 2, 2004. The authors thank Dr. Julie Korenberg, Asya Karchemskiy, J. Eric Schmitt, Dr. Amy Lightbody, Cindy Johnston, and Katie McKenzie for help in data acquisition and analysis, and the volunteers for their participation in this study. Supported by the following grants from the National Institutes of Health: MH01142, MH50047, HD31715, HD33113, and HD40761.
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Issue or Number:11
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180305-104517334
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Official Citation:Anomalous brain activation during face and gaze processing in Williams syndrome D. Mobbs, A. S. Garrett, V. Menon, F. E. Rose, U. Bellugi, A. L. Reiss Neurology Jun 2004, 62 (11) 2070-2076; DOI: 10.1212/01.WNL.0000129536.95274.DC
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:85092
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:05 Mar 2018 22:31
Last Modified:02 Nov 2021 20:49

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