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Emotion recognition associated with polymorphism in oxytocinergic pathway gene ARNT2

Journal article
Authors Daniel Hovey
Susanne Henningsson
D. S. Cortes
T. Banziger
Anna Zettergren
Jonas Melke
H. Fischer
P. Laukka
Lars Westberg
Published in Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience
Volume 13
Issue 2
Pages 173-181
ISSN 1749-5024
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Pharmacology
Pages 173-181
Language en
Keywords oxytocin, vasopressin, ARNT2, emotion recognition, social cognition, autism spectrum disorders, toronto-alexithymia-scale, receptor oxtr, gene, sex-differences, social-behavior, facial affect, human brain, individual-differences, aggressive-behavior, asperger syndrome, Neurosciences & Neurology, Psychology
Subject categories Neurosciences

Abstract

The ability to correctly understand the emotional expression of another person is essential for social relationships and appears to be a partly inherited trait. The neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin have been shown to influence this ability as well as face processing in humans. Here, recognition of the emotional content of faces and voices, separately and combined, was investigated in 492 subjects, genotyped for 25 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in eight genes encoding proteins important for oxytocin and vasopressin neurotransmission. The SNP rs4778599 in the gene encoding aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator 2 (ARNT2), a transcription factor that participates in the development of hypothalamic oxytocin and vasopressin neurons, showed an association that survived correction for multiple testing with emotion recognition of audio-visual stimuli in women (). This study demonstrates evidence for an association that further expands previous findings of oxytocin and vasopressin involvement in emotion recognition.

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