Sensitivity of the autonomic nervous system to visual and auditory affect across social and non-social domains in Williams syndrome

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
Date
2012
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
1-16
Series
Frontiers in Psychology, Volume 3
Abstract
Although individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) typically demonstrate an increased appetitive social drive, their social profile is characterized by dissociations, including socially fearless behavior coupled with anxiousness, and distinct patterns of "peaks and valleys" of ability.The aim of this studywas to compare the processing of social and non-social visually and aurally presented affective stimuli, at the levels of behavior and autonomic nervous system (ANS) responsivity, in individuals with WS contrasted with a typically developing (TD) group, with the viewof elucidating the highly sociable and emotionally sensitive predisposition noted inWS. Behavioral findings supported previous studies of enhanced competence in processing social over non-social stimuli by individuals with WS; however, the patterns of ANS functioning underlying the behavioral performance revealed a surprising profile previously undocumented inWS. Specifically, increased heart rate (HR) reactivity, and a failure for electrodermal activity to habituate were found in individuals with WS contrasted with theTD group, predominantly in response to visual social affective stimuli.Within the auditory domain, greater arousal linked to variation in heart beat periodwas observed in relation to music stimuli in individuals with WS. Taken together, the findings suggest that the pattern of ANS response inWS is more complex than previously noted, with increased arousal to face and music stimuli potentially underpinning the heightened behavioral emotionality to such stimuli. The lack of habituation may underlie the increased affiliation and attraction to faces characterizing individuals with WS. Future research directions are suggested.
Description
Keywords
Affect, Autonomic nervous system, Electrodermal activity, Facial expression, Heart rate, Psychophysiology, Williams syndrome
Other note
Citation
Järvinen , A , Dering , B , Neumann , D , Ng , R , Crivelli , D , Grichanik , M , Korenberg , J R & Bellugi , U 2012 , ' Sensitivity of the autonomic nervous system to visual and auditory affect across social and non-social domains in Williams syndrome ' , Frontiers in Psychology , vol. 3 , 343 , pp. 1-16 . https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00343