Reward circuitry function in autism during face anticipation and outcomes.


Journal Article

The aim of this study was to investigate reward circuitry responses in autism during reward anticipation and outcomes for monetary and social rewards. During monetary anticipation, participants with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) showed hypoactivation in right nucleus accumbens and hyperactivation in right hippocampus, whereas during monetary outcomes, participants with ASDs showed hyperactivation in left midfrontal and anterior cingulate gyrus. Groups did not differ in nucleus accumbens responses to faces. The ASD group demonstrated hyperactivation in bilateral amygdala during face anticipation that predicted social symptom severity and in bilateral insular cortex during face outcomes. These results add to the growing body of evidence that autism is characterized by altered functioning of reward circuitry. Additionally, atypical amygdala activation during the processing of social rewards may contribute to the development or expression of autistic features.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Dichter, GS; Richey, JA; Rittenberg, AM; Sabatino, A; Bodfish, JW

Published Date

  • February 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 42 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 147 - 160

PubMed ID

  • 22187105

Pubmed Central ID

  • 22187105

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-3432

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10803-011-1221-1


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States