Peer Review

Topics: Brain, Neuroscience, Autism Pages: 2 (506 words) Published: December 28, 2011
The peer-reviewed science article “Understanding emotions in others: mirror neuron dysfunction in children with autism spectrum disorders” looks into discovering a more conclusive test of mirror neuron theory (MNS) on autism involving socio-emotional tasks in sample children with and without autism to show MNS activity. It was hypothesized that abnormal MNS functioning would be present during action imitation and observation in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The study used a pool of 10 high functioning children with ASD and 10 typically developing children that were matched by age and IQ as their participants. The study consisted of 80 faces expressing the emotions of anger, fear, happiness, neutrality, or sadness. Each photo was show to the participants for 2 seconds each in random sequence with temporal jittering to increase statistical efficiency. Student either were chose to imitate or just observe the faces presented to the through the use of magnet-compatible, high resolution goggles. Each participant observed 96 images which were practiced looking at normally (check in they can comply) and then through a head-only scanner. No group difference was shown in the length of time is needed to fixate on the faces and eye region or on how well the children could imitate the faces. I was found that during the imitation of emotional faces the children on typical development activated a neural network parallel to that of one observed in adults. Also, it was found to have mirror properties in the pars opercularis. The group of children with ASD, there was a strong activation in the visual cortices, premotor, and motor regions of the face and amygdala. This showed that the children also responded to the stimuli and imitated the facial expressions but the children with ASD showed no activity in the mirror area in the pars opercularis. Comparison between the two groups showed that the activity in the anterior component of the MNS was greater in the...
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