Shared genetic influences among childhood shyness, social competences, and cortical responses to emotions

Marco Battaglia, Giorgia Michelini, Elettra Pezzica, Anna Ogliari, Corrado Fagnani, Maria Antonietta Stazi, Eleonora Bertoletti, Simona Scaini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Visual event-related potentials (ERPs) evoked by facial expressions are useful to map socioemotional responses among shy children and to predict transition into social phobia. We investigated the sources of covariation among childhood shyness, social competences, and ERPs to other children's happy, neutral, and angry expressions. Electrophysiological and twin analyses examined the phenotypic and etiological association among an index of childhood shyness, an index of social competences, and ERP responses to facial expressions in 200 twins (mean age = 9.23 years). Multivariate twin analyses showed that the covariation among shyness, social competences, and a composite of a frontal late negative component occurring around 200–400 ms in response to happy, neutral, and angry expressions could be entirely explained by shared genetic factors. A coherent causal structure links childhood shyness, social competences, and the cortical responses to facial emotions. A common genetic substrate can explain the interrelatedness of individual differences for childhood shyness, social competences, and some associated electrophysiological responses to socioemotional signals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-80
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Volume160
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2017

Keywords

  • Event-related potentials (ERPs)
  • Expressions of emotions
  • Multivariate analyses
  • Shyness
  • Social competences
  • Twins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Shared genetic influences among childhood shyness, social competences, and cortical responses to emotions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this