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Eye gaze patterns and functional brain responses during emotional face processing in adolescents with conduct disorder


Menks, Willeke Martine; Fehlbaum, Lynn Valérie; Borbás, Réka; Sterzer, Philipp; Stadler, Christina; Raschle, Nora Maria (2021). Eye gaze patterns and functional brain responses during emotional face processing in adolescents with conduct disorder. NeuroImage: Clinical, 29:102519.

Abstract

Background: Conduct disorder (CD) is characterized by severe aggressive and antisocial behavior. Initial evidence suggests neural deficits and aberrant eye gaze pattern during emotion processing in CD; both concepts, however, have not yet been studied simultaneously. The present study assessed the functional brain correlates of emotional face processing with and without consideration of concurrent eye gaze behavior in adolescents with CD compared to typically developing (TD) adolescents.
Methods: 58 adolescents (23CD/35TD; average age = 16 years/range = 14-19 years) underwent an implicit emotional face processing task. Neuroimaging analyses were conducted for a priori-defined regions of interest (insula, amygdala, and medial orbitofrontal cortex) and using a full-factorial design assessing the main effects of emotion (neutral, anger, fear), group and the interaction thereof (cluster-level, p < .05 FWE-corrected) with and without consideration of concurrent eye gaze behavior (i.e., time spent on the eye region).
Results: Adolescents with CD showed significant hypo-activations during emotional face processing in right anterior insula compared to TD adolescents, independent of the emotion presented. In-scanner eye-tracking data revealed that adolescents with CD spent significantly less time on the eye, but not mouth region. Correcting for eye gaze behavior during emotional face processing reduced group differences previously observed for right insula.
Conclusions: Atypical insula activation during emotional face processing in adolescents with CD may partly be explained by attentional mechanisms (i.e., reduced gaze allocation to the eyes, independent of the emotion presented). An increased understanding of the mechanism causal for emotion processing deficits observed in CD may ultimately aid the development of personalized intervention programs.

Abstract

Background: Conduct disorder (CD) is characterized by severe aggressive and antisocial behavior. Initial evidence suggests neural deficits and aberrant eye gaze pattern during emotion processing in CD; both concepts, however, have not yet been studied simultaneously. The present study assessed the functional brain correlates of emotional face processing with and without consideration of concurrent eye gaze behavior in adolescents with CD compared to typically developing (TD) adolescents.
Methods: 58 adolescents (23CD/35TD; average age = 16 years/range = 14-19 years) underwent an implicit emotional face processing task. Neuroimaging analyses were conducted for a priori-defined regions of interest (insula, amygdala, and medial orbitofrontal cortex) and using a full-factorial design assessing the main effects of emotion (neutral, anger, fear), group and the interaction thereof (cluster-level, p < .05 FWE-corrected) with and without consideration of concurrent eye gaze behavior (i.e., time spent on the eye region).
Results: Adolescents with CD showed significant hypo-activations during emotional face processing in right anterior insula compared to TD adolescents, independent of the emotion presented. In-scanner eye-tracking data revealed that adolescents with CD spent significantly less time on the eye, but not mouth region. Correcting for eye gaze behavior during emotional face processing reduced group differences previously observed for right insula.
Conclusions: Atypical insula activation during emotional face processing in adolescents with CD may partly be explained by attentional mechanisms (i.e., reduced gaze allocation to the eyes, independent of the emotion presented). An increased understanding of the mechanism causal for emotion processing deficits observed in CD may ultimately aid the development of personalized intervention programs.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
06 Faculty of Arts > Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Imaging
Life Sciences > Neurology
Health Sciences > Neurology (clinical)
Life Sciences > Cognitive Neuroscience
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cognitive Neuroscience, Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging, Neurology, Clinical Neurology
Language:English
Date:1 January 2021
Deposited On:09 Aug 2021 15:59
Last Modified:27 Jan 2024 02:38
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:2213-1582
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2020.102519
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)