Development and Psychopathology



The emergence of the social brain network: Evidence from typical and atypical development


MARK H.  JOHNSON  a1 c1 , RICHARD  GRIFFIN  a2 , GERGELY  CSIBRA  a1 , HANIFE  HALIT  a1 , TERESA  FARRONI  a1 , MICHELLE  DE HAAN  a3 , LESLIE A.  TUCKER  a1 , SIMON  BARON–COHEN  a2 and JOHN  RICHARDS  a4
a1 Birkbeck, University of London
a2 Cambridge University
a3 University College London
a4 University of South Carolina

Article author query
johnson mh   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
griffin r   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
csibra g   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
halit h   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
farroni t   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
de haan m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
tucker la   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
baroncohen s   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
richards j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

Several research groups have identified a network of regions of the adult cortex that are activated during social perception and cognition tasks. In this paper we focus on the development of components of this social brain network during early childhood and test aspects of a particular viewpoint on human functional brain development: “interactive specialization.” Specifically, we apply new data analysis techniques to a previously published data set of event-related potential (ERP) studies involving 3-, 4-, and 12-month-old infants viewing faces of different orientation and direction of eye gaze. Using source separation and localization methods, several likely generators of scalp recorded ERP are identified, and we describe how they are modulated by stimulus characteristics. We then review the results of a series of experiments concerned with perceiving and acting on eye gaze, before reporting on a new experiment involving young children with autism. Finally, we discuss predictions based on the atypical emergence of the social brain network. a


Correspondence:
c1 Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Mark Johnson, Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, School of Psychology, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX, UK; E-mail: mark.Johnson@bbk.ac.uk.


Footnotes

a This work was funded by UK Medical Research Council Programme Grants (G9901005 and G9715587) to M.H.J. and S.B.C. T.F. was supported by a Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship (073985/Z/03/Z).