Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Towards an endophenotype for amygdala dysfunction  

Studies have confirmed the important participation of the amygdala in social perception, such as processing faces, and generated hypotheses about its role in mental illness, such as autism. Yet the precise role that the amygdala might play in mediating an endophenotype for social dysfunction remains poorly understood. This study will test the hypothesis that amygdala dysfunction contributes to the social impairments seen in autism by investigating eye movements and social responses during real social interactions, assessing the processing of social scenes involving faces, and examining which features in faces drive discrimination at the behavioral, emotional, and neural level. The aims will be carried out in neurological subjects with focal lesions of the amygdala, in high-functioning subjects with autism, in parents of autistic children who have the Broad Autism Phenotype, as well as in neurotypical controls. These experiments will be complemented by detailed questionnaires and interviews to assess real-life social functioning and to explore individual differences. Project Status


Funder National Institutes of Health
Fiscal Year Funding $384,145.00
Project Number 5R01MH080721-02
Principal Investigator Adolphs, Ralph
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening? (Biology)
Strategic Plan Objective 2O. Not specific to Question 2 objectives
Federal or Private? Federal
Institution California Institute of Technology
State/Country California
Web Link 1 Towards an endophenotype for amygdala dysfunction (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects Towards an endophenotype for amygdala dysfunction | $384,145.00 | 2010 | 5R01MH080721-03
Towards an endophenotype for amygdala dysfunction | $414,395.00 | 2008 | R01MH080721-01A1