Donnerstag, 24. Januar 2019, 17:00 - 18:30 iCal

Self-other differentiation:

Insights from an imaging genetics study of autism

(Talk of Dr. Florina Uzefovsky, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel)

Fakultät für Psychologie, Hörsaal G, 2. Stock (linke Stiege)
Liebigasse 5, 1010 Wien


Autism is a highly varied and heritable neurodevelopmental condition, and common variants explain approximately 50% of the genetic variance of autism. Difficulties in social cognition, and specifically emotion recognition, are one of the defining features of autism, and one of the genes implicated in autism, and in particular the social aspects of autism, is the Oxytocin Receptor (OXTR). I will present findings from a study combining genetic and functional brain imaging data to examine the relationship between autism diagnosis and brain activity in response to a test of cognitive empathy, and how this relationship is moderated by OXTR. Interestingly, the effects of genotype and genotype x diagnosis localized to the right supramarginal gyrus (rSMG) and an overlap analysis revealed a large overlap of the effects. The rSMG was previously implicated in the ability to overcome our own emotional bias. These findings, and the research on emotional bias, have led to the development of the Emotional Egocentricity Bias task, aiming to measure the ability to overcome one's own emotions in order to empathize with that of the other's. This task is undergoing extensive piloting in diverse populations – young infants, children, adolescents with and without autism, and adults. Preliminary findings and conclusions will also be presented.




Department of Basic Psychological Research and Research Methods (SCAN Unit)


Abla Marie-Jose Bedi
Institut für Psychologische Grundlagenforschung und Forschungsmethoden