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Differential Fairness Decisions and Brain Responses After Expressed Emotions of Others in Boys with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Authors
  • Klapwijk, Eduard T.1, 2
  • Aghajani, Moji1, 2, 3
  • Lelieveld, Gert-Jan2, 4
  • van Lang, Natasja D. J.1, 2
  • Popma, Arne5, 6
  • van der Wee, Nic J. A.2, 7
  • Colins, Olivier F.1, 2
  • Vermeiren, Robert R. J. M.1, 2, 5
  • 1 Curium - Leiden University Medical Center, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Postbus 15, Leiden, 2300 AA, The Netherlands , Leiden (Netherlands)
  • 2 Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC), Leiden, The Netherlands , Leiden (Netherlands)
  • 3 VU University Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Amsterdam, The Netherlands , Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  • 4 Leiden University, Institute of Psychology, Leiden, The Netherlands , Leiden (Netherlands)
  • 5 VU University Medical Center, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Amsterdam, The Netherlands , Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  • 6 Leiden University, Institute of Criminal Law & Criminology, Faculty of Law, Leiden, The Netherlands , Leiden (Netherlands)
  • 7 Leiden University Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Leiden, The Netherlands , Leiden (Netherlands)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
May 17, 2017
Volume
47
Issue
8
Pages
2390–2400
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10803-017-3159-4
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Little is known about how emotions expressed by others influence social decisions and associated brain responses in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We investigated the neural mechanisms underlying fairness decisions in response to explicitly expressed emotions of others in boys with ASD and typically developing (TD) boys. Participants with ASD adjusted their allocation behavior in response to the emotions but reacted less unfair than TD controls in response to happiness. We also found reduced brain responses in the precental gyrus in the ASD versus TD group when receiving happy versus angry reactions and autistic traits were positively associated with activity in the postcentral gyrus. These results provide indications for a role of precentral and postcentral gyrus in social-affective difficulties in ASD.

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