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  Brain mechanisms of eye contact during verbal communication predict autistic traits in neurotypical individuals

Jiang, J., von Kriegstein, K., & Jiang, J. (2020). Brain mechanisms of eye contact during verbal communication predict autistic traits in neurotypical individuals. Scientific Reports, 10: 14602. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-71547-0.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-33CE-8 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-33CF-7
Genre: Journal Article

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Jiang, Jing1, 2, 3, 4, Author              
von Kriegstein, Katharina2, 4, 5, Author              
Jiang, Jiefeng6, Author
Affiliations:
1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA, USA, ou_persistent22              
2Max Planck Research Group Neural Mechanisms of Human Communication, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634556              
3Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
4Institute of Psychology, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
5Faculty of Psychology, TU Dresden, Germany, ou_persistent22              
6Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: Atypical eye contact in communication is a common characteristic in autism spectrum disorders. Autistic traits vary along a continuum extending into the neurotypical population. The relation between autistic traits and brain mechanisms underlying spontaneous eye contact during verbal communication remains unexplored. Here, we used simultaneous functional magnetic resonance imaging and eye tracking to investigate this relation in neurotypical people within a naturalistic verbal context. Using multiple regression analyses, we found that brain response in the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) and its connectivity with the fusiform face area (FFA) during eye contact with a speaker predicted the level of autistic traits measured by Autism-spectrum Quotient (AQ). Further analyses for different AQ subclusters revealed that these two predictors were negatively associated with attention to detail. The relation between FFA-pSTS connectivity and the attention to detail ability was mediated by individuals' looking preferences for speaker's eyes. This study identified the role of an individual eye contact pattern in the relation between brain mechanisms underlying natural eye contact during verbal communication and autistic traits in neurotypical people. The findings may help to increase our understanding of the mechanisms of atypical eye contact behavior during natural communication.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2017-11-012020-08-122020-09-03
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-71547-0
PMID: 32884087
PMC: PMC7471895
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Title: Scientific Reports
  Abbreviation : Sci. Rep.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London, UK : Nature Publishing Group
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 10 Sequence Number: 14602 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 2045-2322
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/2045-2322