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One of the most intriguing characteristics of Williams Syndrome individuals is their hypersociability. The amygdala has been consistently implicated in the etiology of this social profile, particularly given its role in emotional and social behavior. This study examined amygdala volume and symmetry in WS individuals and in age and sex matched controls. Magnetic resonance imaging scans were obtained on a GE 1.5-T magnet with 1.5-mm contiguous slices and were used to measure whole gray matter, white matter and cerebrospinal fluid volumes, as well as amygdala volume (right and left). Results revealed significantly reduced intracranial volume in individuals with WS, compared with controls. There were no differences between groups in absolute amygdalae volume, although there was a relative increase in amygdalae volumes, when adjusted for total intracranial content. There were no inter-hemispheric differences in amygdalae volumes in both groups. These results suggest a relative increase in amygdala volume in WS compared with healthy controls that likely reflects abnormal neurodevelopmental processes of midline brain structures.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.ridd.2011.05.033

Type

Journal article

Journal

Res Dev Disabil

Publication Date

11/2011

Volume

32

Pages

2767 - 2772

Keywords

Adolescent, Adult, Amygdala, Child, Child, Preschool, Entorhinal Cortex, Female, Functional Laterality, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Reproducibility of Results, Social Behavior, Williams Syndrome, Young Adult