5 years ago

Callous-unemotional traits and neural responses to emotional faces in a community sample of young adults

Former studies suggest that the core features of psychopathy, namely the callous-unemotional (CU) traits are associated with emotional dysfunction characterized by atypical processing of other people's distress. Using a dimensional approach to CU traits, the current study aims to test neural activity during performance of a facial expression recognition task in a community sample of young adults. Forty-one participants (25 females, M age=25.44, SD =4.03) completed the Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected to measure neural responses to fearful, happy and sad faces as compared with neutral facial expressions. Region-of-interest analyses revealed that during exposure to fearful face expressions, blood oxygenation level-dependent responses were negatively associated with CU traits in the right anterior cingulate gyrus (ACCg), but not in the amygdala. These findings support that CU traits are related to a unique neural response to fearful faces in noncriminal population as well. It also highlights the importance of taking into account other regions outside the amygdala, in particular the ACC, when testing the relation between CU traits and fear response.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0191886917301034

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