Neural correlates of genetically abnormal social cognition in Williams syndrome

Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, Ahmad R. Hariri, Karen E. Munoz, Carolyn B. Mervis, Venkata S. Mattay, Colleen A. Morris, Karen Faith Berman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

281 Scopus citations


Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS), caused by a microdeletion of approximately 21 genes on chromosome 7q11.23, is characterized by unique hypersociability combined with increased non-social anxiety. Using functional neuroimaging, we found reduced amygdala activation in individuals with WBS for threatening faces but increased activation for threatening scenes, relative to matched normal controls. Activation and interactions of prefrontal regions linked to amygdala, especially orbitofrontal cortex, were abnormal, suggesting a genetically controlled neural circuitry for regulating human social behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)991-993
Number of pages3
JournalNature neuroscience
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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