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Face processing in Turner syndrome

Elgar, Kate Louise; (2003) Face processing in Turner syndrome. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis explored the influence of X-linked genes on the development of face- processing abilities. It assessed face-processing abilities in women with Turner syndrome (TS) who have just one, instead of two, X-chromosomes. Study One assessed the nature and severity of face processing deficits by applying a diverse battery of neuropsychological tests to 45,Xm and control females. Women with TS performed at below average levels in terms of face and emotion recognition (particularly fearful faces) despite processing faces in a typical configural manner. Study Two found equivalent deficits in 45,Xp women. Using Voxel Based Morphometry, Study Three found evidence for increased volume of the amygdalae and orbito-frental cortices in women with TS. Because males, like 45,X females, have a single X-chromosome, Study Four sought to identify whether there was any sexual dimorphism in face processing abilities - there was not. However, differences were found between normal males and females in terms of correlations between face and emotion recognition task performance. These differences were similar to those seen in 45,Xm compared with 45,Xp females and are consistent with the hypothesis that imprinted X-linked genes influence functional mechanisms that are relevant to social cognition. Together, the results of these studies suggest a role for X-linked genes in the typical development of face processing abilities. This role might involve the development of structures involved in social and emotional processing, including the amygdala and orbito-frontal cortices. It is suggested that affective responses to faces may have an important role in our subsequent memory for them. Ways in which issues raised by these studies could be explored further are discussed.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Face processing in Turner syndrome
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Biological sciences; Turner syndrome
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10100822
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