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Variation in the X-linked EFHC2 gene is associated with social cognitive abilities in males.

Startin CM, Fiorentini C, de Haan M, Skuse DH - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Functional variations in X-linked genes are therefore likely to impact more on males than females.As predicted, males possessing the G allele had significantly poorer facial fear detection accuracy and theory of mind abilities than males possessing the A allele (with SNP variant accounting for up to 4.6% of variance).Variation in the X-linked EFHC2 gene at SNP rs7055196 is therefore associated with social cognitive abilities in males.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Females outperform males on many social cognitive tasks. X-linked genes may contribute to this sex difference. Males possess one X chromosome, while females possess two X chromosomes. Functional variations in X-linked genes are therefore likely to impact more on males than females. Previous studies of X-monosomic women with Turner syndrome suggest a genetic association with facial fear recognition abilities at Xp11.3, specifically at a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP rs7055196) within the EFHC2 gene. Based on a strong hypothesis, we investigated an association between variation at SNP rs7055196 and facial fear recognition and theory of mind abilities in males. As predicted, males possessing the G allele had significantly poorer facial fear detection accuracy and theory of mind abilities than males possessing the A allele (with SNP variant accounting for up to 4.6% of variance). Variation in the X-linked EFHC2 gene at SNP rs7055196 is therefore associated with social cognitive abilities in males.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Examples of the psychometric functions produced from participants possessing the A or G allele at SNP rs7055196 when investigating fear recognition using faces morphed between fearful and neutral expressions.The function displays the number of times the participant judged the expression of each of the ranked faces containing varying proportions of fearful and neutral expressions to look more similar to the fearful expression compared to the neutral expression (maximum 10). From this function we calculated the PSE, which is equal to the percentage of fear in the face when expression recognition is at chance level and the frequency of selecting the expression to be fearful equals 5 (the dotted line represents the PSE for the male possessing the A allele). We also calculated the JND, which is equal to the increase in percentage of fearful expression in the face necessary for the number of times the participant judges the expression to look more like the fearful expression than the neutral expression to increase by one. The JND therefore represents the sensitivity of recognition between the two expressions and is calculated from the inverse gradient of the slope; a less steep slope and higher JND value suggest poorer sensitivity of fear recognition.
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pone.0131604.g002: Examples of the psychometric functions produced from participants possessing the A or G allele at SNP rs7055196 when investigating fear recognition using faces morphed between fearful and neutral expressions.The function displays the number of times the participant judged the expression of each of the ranked faces containing varying proportions of fearful and neutral expressions to look more similar to the fearful expression compared to the neutral expression (maximum 10). From this function we calculated the PSE, which is equal to the percentage of fear in the face when expression recognition is at chance level and the frequency of selecting the expression to be fearful equals 5 (the dotted line represents the PSE for the male possessing the A allele). We also calculated the JND, which is equal to the increase in percentage of fearful expression in the face necessary for the number of times the participant judges the expression to look more like the fearful expression than the neutral expression to increase by one. The JND therefore represents the sensitivity of recognition between the two expressions and is calculated from the inverse gradient of the slope; a less steep slope and higher JND value suggest poorer sensitivity of fear recognition.

Mentions: Examples of the psychometric functions produced from participants in the two groups can be seen in Fig 2. There was no difference in PSE values between males possessing the different SNP variants [t (89) = -1.41, p = 0.162, 95% CI (-5.43, 0.92), A allele 47.82 ± 7.38, G allele 50.08 ± 7.86 (mean ± SD)]. This suggests there was no association between this SNP and the percentage of fearful expression in the face when fear detection was at chance levels. Males possessing the G allele showed significantly higher JND values than males possessing the A allele [t (89) = -2.07, p = 0.042, 95% CI (-4.11, -0.08), A allele 5.88 ± 4.00, G allele 7.98 ± 5.53 (mean ± SD)]. These results indicate males possessing the A allele required an increase of 5.88% fearful expression in the face for their recognition level to increase by one, whereas males possessing the G allele required an extra 7.98% fearful expression in the face for their recognition level to increase by an equal amount. On average, males possessing the G allele therefore required an additional increase of 2.1% fearful expression in the face for their recognition ability to increase by one compared to the increase needed by males possessing the A allele. These results indicate males possessing the A allele are more sensitive to detecting changes in fearful expression intensity compared to those possessing the G allele, suggesting better fear detection accuracy in males possessing the A allele compared to those possessing the G allele. This effect can also be seen in Fig 2, with the male possessing the G allele showing a reduced slope gradient compared to that of the male possessing the A allele. The allele males possessed at SNP rs7055196 accounted for 4.6% of the variance in JND scores. There was no significant association between SNP variant and RT [F (1,89) = 1.08, p = 0.301, A allele 579 ± 33 ms, G allele 628 ± 33 ms (mean ± SD)].


Variation in the X-linked EFHC2 gene is associated with social cognitive abilities in males.

Startin CM, Fiorentini C, de Haan M, Skuse DH - PLoS ONE (2015)

Examples of the psychometric functions produced from participants possessing the A or G allele at SNP rs7055196 when investigating fear recognition using faces morphed between fearful and neutral expressions.The function displays the number of times the participant judged the expression of each of the ranked faces containing varying proportions of fearful and neutral expressions to look more similar to the fearful expression compared to the neutral expression (maximum 10). From this function we calculated the PSE, which is equal to the percentage of fear in the face when expression recognition is at chance level and the frequency of selecting the expression to be fearful equals 5 (the dotted line represents the PSE for the male possessing the A allele). We also calculated the JND, which is equal to the increase in percentage of fearful expression in the face necessary for the number of times the participant judges the expression to look more like the fearful expression than the neutral expression to increase by one. The JND therefore represents the sensitivity of recognition between the two expressions and is calculated from the inverse gradient of the slope; a less steep slope and higher JND value suggest poorer sensitivity of fear recognition.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4481314&req=5

pone.0131604.g002: Examples of the psychometric functions produced from participants possessing the A or G allele at SNP rs7055196 when investigating fear recognition using faces morphed between fearful and neutral expressions.The function displays the number of times the participant judged the expression of each of the ranked faces containing varying proportions of fearful and neutral expressions to look more similar to the fearful expression compared to the neutral expression (maximum 10). From this function we calculated the PSE, which is equal to the percentage of fear in the face when expression recognition is at chance level and the frequency of selecting the expression to be fearful equals 5 (the dotted line represents the PSE for the male possessing the A allele). We also calculated the JND, which is equal to the increase in percentage of fearful expression in the face necessary for the number of times the participant judges the expression to look more like the fearful expression than the neutral expression to increase by one. The JND therefore represents the sensitivity of recognition between the two expressions and is calculated from the inverse gradient of the slope; a less steep slope and higher JND value suggest poorer sensitivity of fear recognition.
Mentions: Examples of the psychometric functions produced from participants in the two groups can be seen in Fig 2. There was no difference in PSE values between males possessing the different SNP variants [t (89) = -1.41, p = 0.162, 95% CI (-5.43, 0.92), A allele 47.82 ± 7.38, G allele 50.08 ± 7.86 (mean ± SD)]. This suggests there was no association between this SNP and the percentage of fearful expression in the face when fear detection was at chance levels. Males possessing the G allele showed significantly higher JND values than males possessing the A allele [t (89) = -2.07, p = 0.042, 95% CI (-4.11, -0.08), A allele 5.88 ± 4.00, G allele 7.98 ± 5.53 (mean ± SD)]. These results indicate males possessing the A allele required an increase of 5.88% fearful expression in the face for their recognition level to increase by one, whereas males possessing the G allele required an extra 7.98% fearful expression in the face for their recognition level to increase by an equal amount. On average, males possessing the G allele therefore required an additional increase of 2.1% fearful expression in the face for their recognition ability to increase by one compared to the increase needed by males possessing the A allele. These results indicate males possessing the A allele are more sensitive to detecting changes in fearful expression intensity compared to those possessing the G allele, suggesting better fear detection accuracy in males possessing the A allele compared to those possessing the G allele. This effect can also be seen in Fig 2, with the male possessing the G allele showing a reduced slope gradient compared to that of the male possessing the A allele. The allele males possessed at SNP rs7055196 accounted for 4.6% of the variance in JND scores. There was no significant association between SNP variant and RT [F (1,89) = 1.08, p = 0.301, A allele 579 ± 33 ms, G allele 628 ± 33 ms (mean ± SD)].

Bottom Line: Functional variations in X-linked genes are therefore likely to impact more on males than females.As predicted, males possessing the G allele had significantly poorer facial fear detection accuracy and theory of mind abilities than males possessing the A allele (with SNP variant accounting for up to 4.6% of variance).Variation in the X-linked EFHC2 gene at SNP rs7055196 is therefore associated with social cognitive abilities in males.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Females outperform males on many social cognitive tasks. X-linked genes may contribute to this sex difference. Males possess one X chromosome, while females possess two X chromosomes. Functional variations in X-linked genes are therefore likely to impact more on males than females. Previous studies of X-monosomic women with Turner syndrome suggest a genetic association with facial fear recognition abilities at Xp11.3, specifically at a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP rs7055196) within the EFHC2 gene. Based on a strong hypothesis, we investigated an association between variation at SNP rs7055196 and facial fear recognition and theory of mind abilities in males. As predicted, males possessing the G allele had significantly poorer facial fear detection accuracy and theory of mind abilities than males possessing the A allele (with SNP variant accounting for up to 4.6% of variance). Variation in the X-linked EFHC2 gene at SNP rs7055196 is therefore associated with social cognitive abilities in males.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus