Deficits in Mental State Attributions in Individuals with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome)

Jennifer S. Ho, Petya D. Radoeva, Maria Jalbrzikowski, Carolyn Chow, Jessica Hopkins, Wen Ching Tran, Ami Mehta, Nicole Enrique, Chelsea Gilbert, Kevin M. Antshel, Wanda Fremont, Wendy R. Kates, Carrie E. Bearden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Velo-cardio-facial syndrome (VCFS; 22q11.2 deletion syndrome) results from a genetic mutation that increases risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We compared Theory of Mind (ToM) skills in 63 individuals with VCFS (25% with an ASD diagnosis) and 43 typically developing controls, and investigated the relationship of ToM to reciprocal social behavior. We administered a video-based task to assess mentalizing at two sites University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University. The videos depicted interactions representing complex mental states (ToM condition), or simple movements (Random condition). Verbal descriptions of the videos were rated for Intentionality (i.e. mentalizing) and Appropriateness. Using Repeated Measures analysis of variance (ANOVA), we assessed the effects of VCFS and ASD on Intentionality and Appropriateness, and the relationship of mentalizing to Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) scores. Results indicated that individuals with VCFS overall had lower Intentionality and Appropriateness scores than controls for ToM but not for Random scenes. In the SUNY sample, individuals with VCFS, both with and without ASD, performed more poorly than controls on the ToM condition; however, in the UCLA sample, only individuals with VCFS without ASD performed significantly worse than controls on the ToM condition. Controlling for site and age, performance on the ToM condition was significantly correlated with SRS scores. Individuals with VCFS, regardless of an ASD diagnosis, showed impairments in the spontaneous attribution of mental states to abstract visual stimuli, which may underlie real-life problems with social interactions. A better understanding of the social deficits in VCFS is essential for the development of targeted behavioral interventions. Autism Res 2012, 5: 407-418.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-418
Number of pages12
JournalAutism Research
Volume5
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Keywords

  • 22q11.2 deletion syndrome
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Reciprocal social behavior
  • Social cognition
  • Theory of Mind
  • Velo-cardio-facial syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Genetics(clinical)

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    Ho, J. S., Radoeva, P. D., Jalbrzikowski, M., Chow, C., Hopkins, J., Tran, W. C., Mehta, A., Enrique, N., Gilbert, C., Antshel, K. M., Fremont, W., Kates, W. R., & Bearden, C. E. (2012). Deficits in Mental State Attributions in Individuals with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome). Autism Research, 5(6), 407-418. https://doi.org/10.1002/aur.1252