Deficits in facial affect recognition among antisocial populations: A meta-analysis

Abigail A. Marsh, R. J.R. Blair

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

492 Scopus citations

Abstract

Individuals with disorders marked by antisocial behavior frequently show deficits in recognizing displays of facial affect. Antisociality may be associated with specific deficits in identifying fearful expressions, which would implicate dysfunction in neural structures that subserve fearful expression processing. A meta-analysis of 20 studies was conducted to assess: (a) if antisocial populations show any consistent deficits in recognizing six emotional expressions; (b) beyond any generalized impairment, whether specific fear recognition deficits are apparent; and (c) if deficits in fear recognition are a function of task difficulty. Results show a robust link between antisocial behavior and specific deficits in recognizing fearful expressions. This impairment cannot be attributed solely to task difficulty. These results suggest dysfunction among antisocial individuals in specified neural substrates, namely the amygdala, involved in processing fearful facial affect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-465
Number of pages12
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008

Keywords

  • Amygdala
  • Antisocial
  • Emotion
  • Facial affect
  • Fearful expression
  • Meta-analysis
  • Psychopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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