Background: Though aberrant face processing is a hallmark of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), findings on accompanying brain activity are divergent. Therefore, we conducted an activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis of studies examining brain activity during face processing. Methods: We searched PubMed and PsycINFO using combinations of terms as ‘fMRI’, ‘Autism Spectrum Disorder’, ‘Face Perception’. Eligible studies reported on DSM-diagnosed ASD individuals, compared to controls (HC), using face stimuli presented in fMRI and reporting whole-brain analysis coordinates. We compared two approaches: ‘convergence of differences’ (primary analysis) using study-level coordinates from ASD vs. HC contrasts, and ‘differences in convergence’ (secondary) pooling coordinates within each group separately, and contrasting the resultant ALE maps. Results: Thirty-five studies (655 ASD and 668 HC) were included. Primary analysis identified a cluster in amygdala/parahippocampus where HC showed greater convergence of activation. Secondary analysis yielded no significant results. Conclusions: Results suggest that ASD dysfunction in face processing relies on structures involved in emotional processing rather than perception. We also demonstrate that the two ALE methodologies lead to divergent results.

Brain activity during facial processing in autism spectrum disorder: an activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies

Cristea I. A.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Background: Though aberrant face processing is a hallmark of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), findings on accompanying brain activity are divergent. Therefore, we conducted an activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis of studies examining brain activity during face processing. Methods: We searched PubMed and PsycINFO using combinations of terms as ‘fMRI’, ‘Autism Spectrum Disorder’, ‘Face Perception’. Eligible studies reported on DSM-diagnosed ASD individuals, compared to controls (HC), using face stimuli presented in fMRI and reporting whole-brain analysis coordinates. We compared two approaches: ‘convergence of differences’ (primary analysis) using study-level coordinates from ASD vs. HC contrasts, and ‘differences in convergence’ (secondary) pooling coordinates within each group separately, and contrasting the resultant ALE maps. Results: Thirty-five studies (655 ASD and 668 HC) were included. Primary analysis identified a cluster in amygdala/parahippocampus where HC showed greater convergence of activation. Secondary analysis yielded no significant results. Conclusions: Results suggest that ASD dysfunction in face processing relies on structures involved in emotional processing rather than perception. We also demonstrate that the two ALE methodologies lead to divergent results.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1439305
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