Introduction: Anxiety disorders in adults involve aberrant processing of emotional information that is hypothesized to reflect perturbations in the amygdala. This study examines the relationship between face-emotion recognition and anxiety in a sample of children and adolescents participating in a brain-imaging study of amygdala structure and function. Methods: This study recruited 15 children and adolescents with ongoing anxiety disorders and 11 psychiatrically healthy comparisons group-matched on age, gender, and IQ. Face-emotion recognition was assessed using the Diagnostic Analysis of Nonverbal Accuracy Scale (DANVA). Results: Children and adolescents with anxiety disorders exhibited significantly poorer performance on the face-emotion recognition task compared to healthy controls (z = 2.2; p < 0.05). This difference was found only for expressions posed by adults but not children. Discussion: Reduced accuracy on a face-emotion recognition test is consistent with perturbed amygdala function in pediatric anxiety disorders. Conclusion: As this study was conducted in a sample undergoing a neuroimaging investigation of amygdala integrity, future analyses will examine associations among amygdala function, clinical anxiety, and face-recognition abilities.
|Number of pages
|Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology
|Published - Aug 2005
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Pharmacology (medical)