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Understanding Other MindsPerspectives from developmental social neuroscience$
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Simon Baron-Cohen, Michael Lombardo, and Helen Tager-Flusberg

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199692972

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692972.001.0001

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Understanding the genetics of empathy and the autistic spectrum

Understanding the genetics of empathy and the autistic spectrum

(p.326) Chapter 18 Understanding the genetics of empathy and the autistic spectrum
Understanding Other Minds

Bhismadev Chakrabarti

Simon Baron-Cohen

Oxford University Press

Empathy includes the ability to understand other mind and respond appropriately to them. Individuals with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) often have difficulties in these domains, and are associated with low scores on self-report measures of empathy. In this chapter, we delineate the genetic architecture of empathy by providing a brief review of existing studies. In particular, we focus on one of our recent studies using a novel approach that tested common variants in multiple candidate genes for association with trait empathy. We conclude by providing a summary of emerging attempts to bridge the genotype-phenotype gap, and highlight the need for cross-validating genetic association studies across multiple endophenotypes.

Keywords:   Empathy, common variants, SNP, genetics, autism, Asperger Syndrome

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