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Altered empathy-related resting-state functional connectivity in adolescents with early-onset schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders
Shi, Li-juan1,2; Zhou, Han-yu2,3; Wang, Yi2,3; Shen, Yan-mei4; Fang, Yu-min4; He, Yu-qiong4; Ou, Jian-jun4; Li, Hua-bing4; Luo, Xue-rong4; Cheung, Eric F. C.5; Pantelis, Christos6,7,8; Chan, Raymond C. K.2,3
First AuthorShi, Li-juan
Correspondent (r.c.k. chan)
Contribution Rank2

Empathy refers to the ability to understand other people's feelings and reacting emotionally to others. Impaired empathy has been reported in both individuals with schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Despite overlaps, few studies have directly examined the neural mechanisms of impaired empathy in these two clinical groups. We used resting-state fMRI to investigate the neural correlates of empathic functioning in adolescents with ASD (N = 11), early-onset schizophrenia (EOS) (N = 20), and typically developing (TD) controls (N = 26). Their parents completed the Griffith Empathy Measure (GEM) to assess the adolescents' empathic capacity. We found that EOS and ASD participants both exhibited impaired empathy as measured by the GEM, especially in cognitive empathy (post-hoc ps < 0.05). Regions-of-interest-based functional connectivity revealed decreased connectivity between the salience network (SN) (i.e., the anterior insula and the anterior cingulate cortex) and core regions of the mentalizing network (e.g., the temporal-parietal junction and the precuneus), and among the SN and the bilateral superior temporal gyri (STG) and the left cerebellum in EOS participants. Subsequent comparisons revealed reduced grey matter volume in the STG bilaterally in both clinical groups. Increased resting-state functional connectivity within the social brain network was correlated with higher parent-reported scores of empathic capacity in TD adolescents, but such a brain-phenotype relationship was absent in the two clinical groups. These findings indicate that structural alterations and disturbed resting-state functional connectivity in the core empathy network may be the neural correlates of social cognitive deficits in individuals with EOS and ASD.

KeywordEmpathy Autism spectrum disorders Early-onset schizophrenia fMRI Functional connectivity
Indexed BySCI
Funding ProjectNational Key Research and Development Programme[2016YFC0906402] ; National Natural Science Foundation China[31970997] ; China Postdoctoral Science Foundation[2016M601157] ; Humanity and Social Science Youth foundation of the Ministry of Education[17YJC190022] ; Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province[2019JJ50149] ; CAS Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology ; Australian NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellowship[1105825]
WOS Research AreaPsychiatry
WOS SubjectPsychiatry
WOS IDWOS:000595918300008
Citation statistics
Cited Times:1[WOS]   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document Type期刊论文
Corresponding AuthorChan, Raymond C. K.
Affiliation1.Hunan Univ Sci & Technol, Sch Educ, Xiangtan, Hunan, Peoples R China
2.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Psychol, Neuropsychol & Appl Cognit Neurosci Lab, CAS Key Lab Mental Hlth, Beijing, Peoples R China
3.Univ Chinese Acad Sci, Dept Psychol, Beijing, Peoples R China
4.Cent South Univ, Mental Hlth Inst, Xiangya Hosp 2, Changsha, Hunan, Peoples R China
5.Castle Peak Hosp, Hong Kong, Peoples R China
6.Univ Melbourne, Melbourne Neuropsychiat Ctr, Dept Psychiat, Carlton, Vic, Australia
7.Melbourne Hlth, Carlton, Vic, Australia
8.Florey Inst Neurosci & Mental Hlth, Parkville, Vic, Australia
First Author Affilication认知与发展心理学研究室
Corresponding Author Affilication认知与发展心理学研究室
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Shi, Li-juan,Zhou, Han-yu,Wang, Yi,et al. Altered empathy-related resting-state functional connectivity in adolescents with early-onset schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders[J]. ASIAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY,2020,53:11.
APA Shi, Li-juan.,Zhou, Han-yu.,Wang, Yi.,Shen, Yan-mei.,Fang, Yu-min.,...&Chan, Raymond C. K..(2020).Altered empathy-related resting-state functional connectivity in adolescents with early-onset schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders.ASIAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY,53,11.
MLA Shi, Li-juan,et al."Altered empathy-related resting-state functional connectivity in adolescents with early-onset schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders".ASIAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY 53(2020):11.
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