Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/2440/130204
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Type: Journal article
Title: A broad autism phenotype expressed in facial morphology
Author: Tan, D.W.
Maybery, M.T.
Gilani, S.Z.
Alvares, G.A.
Mian, A.
Suter, D.
Whitehouse, A.J.O.
Citation: Translational Psychiatry, 2020; 10(1):7-7
Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 2158-3188
2158-3188
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Diana Weiting Tan, Murray T. Maybery, Syed Zulqarnain Gilani, Gail A. Alvares, Ajmal Mian, David Suter and Andrew J. O. Whitehouse
Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder is a heritable neurodevelopmental condition diagnosed based on social and communication differences. There is strong evidence that cognitive and behavioural changes associated with clinical autism aggregate with biological relatives but in milder form, commonly referred to as the 'broad autism phenotype'. The present study builds on our previous findings of increased facial masculinity in autistic children (Sci. Rep., 7:9348, 2017) by examining whether facial masculinity represents as a broad autism phenotype in 55 non-autistic siblings (25 girls) of autistic children. Using 3D facial photogrammetry and age-matched control groups of children without a family history of ASD, we found that facial features of male siblings were more masculine than those of male controls (n = 69; p < 0.001, d = 0.81 [0.36, 1.26]). Facial features of female siblings were also more masculine than the features of female controls (n = 60; p = 0.005, d = 0.63 [0.16, 1.10]). Overall, we demonstrated for males and females that facial masculinity in non-autistic siblings is increased compared to same-sex comparison groups. These data provide the first evidence for a broad autism phenotype expressed in a physical characteristic, which has wider implications for our understanding of the interplay between physical and cognitive development in humans.
Keywords: Physiology; psychology
Rights: © The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
DOI: 10.1038/s41398-020-0695-z
Grant ID: http://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/1077966
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 4
Psychiatry publications

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