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Heritability of reflexive social attention triggered by eye gaze and walking direction: common and unique genetic underpinnings
Wang, Li1,2; Wang, Ying1,2; Xu, Qian1,2; Liu, Dong1,2; Ji, Haoyue1,2; Yu, Yiwen1,2; Hu, Zhaoqi1,2; Yuan, Peijun1,2; Jiang, Yi1,2
First AuthorWang, Li
Correspondent Emailyi jiang
Contribution Rank1

Background Social attention ability is crucial for human adaptive social behaviors and interpersonal communications, and the malfunction of which has been implicated in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a highly genetic neurodevelopmental disorder marked by striking social deficits. Methods Using a classical twin design, the current study investigated the genetic contribution to individual variation in social and non-social attention abilities, and further probed their potential genetic linkage. Moreover, individual autistic traits were further measured in an independent group of non-twin participants to examine the hypothetical link between the core social attention ability and ASD. Results We found reliable genetic influences on the social attentional effects induced by two distinct cues (eye gaze and walking direction), with 91% of their covariance accounted for by common genetic effects. However, no evidence of heritability or shared genetic effects was observed for the attentional effect directed by a non-social cue (i.e. arrow direction) and its correlation with the social attention ability. Remarkably, one's autistic traits could well predict his/her heritable core social attention ability extracted from the conventional social attentional effect. Conclusions These findings together suggest that human social attention ability is supported by unique genetic mechanisms that can be shared across different social, but not non-social, processing. Moreover, they also encourage the identification of 'social attention genes' and highlight the critical role of the core human social attention ability in seeking the endophenotypes of social cognitive disorders including ASD.

KeywordBehavioral genetics biological motion eye gaze social cognition twin study
Indexed BySCI
Funding ProjectNational Natural Science Foundation of China[31525011] ; National Natural Science Foundation of China[31671137] ; National Natural Science Foundation of China[31771211] ; National Natural Science Foundation of China[31830037] ; Strategic Priority Research Program[XDB32010300] ; Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences[QYZDB-SSW-SMC030] ; Youth Innovation Promotion Association of the Chinese Academy of Sciences ; Beijing Municipal Science & Technology Commission
WOS Research AreaPsychology ; Psychiatry
WOS SubjectPsychology, Clinical ; Psychiatry ; Psychology
WOS IDWOS:000513210700013
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Cited Times:6[WOS]   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document Type期刊论文
Corresponding AuthorJiang, Yi
Affiliation1.Chinese Acad Sci, State Key Lab Brain & Cognit Sci, CAS Ctr Excellence Brain Sci & Intelligence Techn, Inst Psychol, 16 Lincui Rd, Beijing 100101, Peoples R China
2.Univ Chinese Acad Sci, Dept Psychol, 19A Yuquan Rd, Beijing 100049, Peoples R China
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GB/T 7714
Wang, Li,Wang, Ying,Xu, Qian,et al. Heritability of reflexive social attention triggered by eye gaze and walking direction: common and unique genetic underpinnings[J]. PSYCHOLOGICAL MEDICINE,2020,50(3):475-483.
APA Wang, Li.,Wang, Ying.,Xu, Qian.,Liu, Dong.,Ji, Haoyue.,...&Jiang, Yi.(2020).Heritability of reflexive social attention triggered by eye gaze and walking direction: common and unique genetic underpinnings.PSYCHOLOGICAL MEDICINE,50(3),475-483.
MLA Wang, Li,et al."Heritability of reflexive social attention triggered by eye gaze and walking direction: common and unique genetic underpinnings".PSYCHOLOGICAL MEDICINE 50.3(2020):475-483.
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