Females outperform males on many social cognitive tasks. X-linked genes may contribute to this sex difference. Males possess one X chromosome, while females possess two X chromosomes. Functional variations in X-linked genes are therefore likely to impact more on males than females. Previous studies of X-monosomic women with Turner syndrome suggest a genetic association with facial fear recognition abilities at Xp11.3, specifically at a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP rs7055196) within the EFHC2 gene. Based on a strong hypothesis, we investigated an association between variation at SNP rs7055196 and facial fear recognition and theory of mind abilities in males. As predicted, males possessing the G allele had significantly poorer facial fear detection accuracy and theory of mind abilities than males possessing the A allele (with SNP variant accounting for up to 4.6% of variance). Variation in the X-linked EFHC2 gene at SNP rs7055196 is therefore associated with social cognitive abilities in males.
|Publication status||Published - 24 Jun 2015|