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Accession Number ADA575868
Title Neural Basis of Empathy and Its Dysfunction in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
Publication Date Aug 2012
Media Count 99p
Personal Author M. L. Platt S. W. Chang
Abstract The most human of emotions are defined by how we feel about others. Such other-regarding preferences (ORP), in the parlance of economics, both permit and necessitate the institutions that form the core of modern society. Abnormal functionalities associated with ORP in the brain are also thought to be a critical component underlying neuropsychiatric disorders marked by social deficits. The primary objectives of the research project are to develop an animal model of ORP (Objective 1), and investigate the functional contributions of the orbitofrontal cortex (Objectives 2-3) and neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) (Objective 4). We have successfully developed a rhesus macaque model of ORP and demonstrated that rhesus monkeys care about rewards delivered to another monkey (Chang et al., 2011a). We then for the first time demonstrated that inhaled OT using a pediatric nebulizer effectively reaches the central nervous system of rhesus macaques, providing a proof of concept for a clinical OT treatment method well-tolerated by children. Subsequently, we showed the inhaled OT promotes prosocial preferences and social gaze rates (Chang et al., 2012). Finally, we have recorded single neuron activity from OFC during the ORP task and found that OFC neurons are predominantly involved in computing rewarding events of self (Chang and Platt, 2011b; Chang et al., under review). Our results begin to elucidate neural mechanisms underlying ORP and open up future research aimed at understanding how therapeutic OT treatments in individuals with autism spectrum disorders work in their brains.
Keywords Abnormalities
Central nervous system
Mental disorders
Nerve cells
Nervous system

Source Agency Non Paid ADAS
NTIS Subject Category 92B - Psychology
57T - Psychiatry
Corporate Author Duke Univ., Durham, NC.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note Annual rept. 1 Aug 2011 - 31 Jul 2012.
NTIS Issue Number 1319
Contract Number W81XWH-11-1-0584

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