, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 1072-1080

Emotional Modulation of Perception in Asperger’s Syndrome

Purchase on Springer.com

$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Using an attentional blink paradigm, we show that the typical enhancement of perception for emotionally arousing events is significantly reduced in Asperger’s syndrome (AS) at short inter-target intervals. Control experiments demonstrate that this finding cannot be attributed to differences in the perceived arousal of the stimuli, or to a global impairment affecting any type of modulation of perceptual encoding. Because a functioning amygdala is critical for emotional modulation of the attentional blink, the findings support a role for the amygdala in the pathophysiology of AS. More specifically, they suggest there is a fundamental failure of the amygdala to modulate processing in cortex, a concept at the heart of some recent theories of amygdala involvement in the aetiology of autistic-spectrum disorders.