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Durham Research Online
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Linking social behaviour and anxiety to attention to emotional faces in Williams syndrome.

Kirk, H. E. and Hocking, D. R. and Riby, D. M. and Cornish, K. M. (2013) 'Linking social behaviour and anxiety to attention to emotional faces in Williams syndrome.', Research in developmental disabilities., 34 (12). pp. 4608-4616.

Abstract

The neurodevelopmental disorder Williams syndrome (WS) has been associated with a social phenotype of hypersociability, non-social anxiety and an unusual attraction to faces. The current study uses eye tracking to explore attention allocation to emotionally expressive faces. Eye gaze and behavioural measures of anxiety and social reciprocity were investigated in adolescents and adults with WS when compared to typically developing individuals of comparable verbal mental age (VMA) and chronological age (CA). Results showed significant associations between high levels of behavioural anxiety and attention allocation away from the eye regions of threatening facial expressions in WS. The results challenge early claims of a unique attraction to the eyes in WS and suggest that individual differences in anxiety may mediate the allocation of attention to faces in WS.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Williams syndrome, Anxiety, Eye gaze, Emotional expressions, Social responsiveness.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2013.09.042
Publisher statement:NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Research in Developmental Disabilities. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34, 12, December 2013, 10.1016/j.ridd.2013.09.042.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:16 December 2014
Date of first online publication:December 2013
Date first made open access:No date available

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