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Facial emotion recognition and eye movement behaviour in conduct disorder

Facial emotion recognition and eye movement behaviour in conduct disorder
Facial emotion recognition and eye movement behaviour in conduct disorder
Background: Conduct Disorder (CD) is associated with impairments in facial emotion recognition. However, it is unclear whether such deficits are explained by a failure to attend to emotionally informative face regions, such as the eyes, or by problems in the appraisal of emotional cues.

Method: Male and female adolescents with CD and varying levels of callous-unemotional (CU) traits and age- and sex-matched typically-developing (TD) controls (aged 13-18) categorised the emotion of dynamic and morphed static faces. Concurrent eye tracking was used to relate categorisation performance to participants’ allocation of overt attention.

Results: Adolescents with CD were worse at emotion recognition than TD controls, with deficits observed across static and dynamic expressions. In addition, the CD group fixated less on the eyes when viewing fearful and sad expressions. Across all participants, higher levels of CU traits were associated with fear recognition deficits and reduced attention to the eyes of surprised faces. Within the CD group, however, higher CU traits were associated with better fear recognition. Overall, males were worse at recognising emotions than females and displayed a reduced tendency to fixate the eyes.

Discussion: Adolescents with CD, and particularly males, showed deficits in emotion recognition and fixated less on the eyes when viewing emotional faces. Individual differences in fixation behaviour predicted modest variations in emotion categorisation. However, group differences in fixation were small and did not explain the larger group differences in categorisation performance, suggesting that CD-related emotion recognition deficits were not mediated by abnormal fixation patterns.
247–257
Martin-Key, N. A.
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Graf, E. W.
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Adams, W. J.
25685aaa-fc54-4d25-8d65-f35f4c5ab688
Fairchild, G.
f99bc911-978e-48c2-9754-c6460666a95f
Martin-Key, N. A.
e80b0928-5b78-4e6a-a056-822104a5509f
Graf, E. W.
1a5123e2-8f05-4084-a6e6-837dcfc66209
Adams, W. J.
25685aaa-fc54-4d25-8d65-f35f4c5ab688
Fairchild, G.
f99bc911-978e-48c2-9754-c6460666a95f

Martin-Key, N. A., Graf, E. W., Adams, W. J. and Fairchild, G. (2018) Facial emotion recognition and eye movement behaviour in conduct disorder. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 59 (3), 247–257. (doi:10.1111/jcpp.12795).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: Conduct Disorder (CD) is associated with impairments in facial emotion recognition. However, it is unclear whether such deficits are explained by a failure to attend to emotionally informative face regions, such as the eyes, or by problems in the appraisal of emotional cues.

Method: Male and female adolescents with CD and varying levels of callous-unemotional (CU) traits and age- and sex-matched typically-developing (TD) controls (aged 13-18) categorised the emotion of dynamic and morphed static faces. Concurrent eye tracking was used to relate categorisation performance to participants’ allocation of overt attention.

Results: Adolescents with CD were worse at emotion recognition than TD controls, with deficits observed across static and dynamic expressions. In addition, the CD group fixated less on the eyes when viewing fearful and sad expressions. Across all participants, higher levels of CU traits were associated with fear recognition deficits and reduced attention to the eyes of surprised faces. Within the CD group, however, higher CU traits were associated with better fear recognition. Overall, males were worse at recognising emotions than females and displayed a reduced tendency to fixate the eyes.

Discussion: Adolescents with CD, and particularly males, showed deficits in emotion recognition and fixated less on the eyes when viewing emotional faces. Individual differences in fixation behaviour predicted modest variations in emotion categorisation. However, group differences in fixation were small and did not explain the larger group differences in categorisation performance, suggesting that CD-related emotion recognition deficits were not mediated by abnormal fixation patterns.

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Martin-Key et al 2017 emotion recognition and eye movements in CD_R2 - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 3 July 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 7 September 2017
Published date: March 2018
Organisations: Cognition, Psychology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 412041
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/412041
PURE UUID: f087b09b-a946-4309-9859-5ce8e5681339
ORCID for E. W. Graf: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3162-4233
ORCID for W. J. Adams: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5832-1056
ORCID for G. Fairchild: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7814-9938

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Date deposited: 05 Jul 2017 16:31
Last modified: 08 Oct 2020 04:04

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Contributors

Author: N. A. Martin-Key
Author: E. W. Graf ORCID iD
Author: W. J. Adams ORCID iD
Author: G. Fairchild ORCID iD

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