Evidence is emerging that individuals with Fragile X syndrome (FXS) display emotion recognition deficits, which may contribute to their significant social difficulties. The current study investigated the emotion recognition abilities, and social approachability judgments, of FXS individuals when processing emotional stimuli. Relative to chronological age- (CA-) and mental age- (MA-) matched controls, the FXS group performed significantly more poorly on the emotion recognition tasks, and displayed a bias towards detecting negative emotions. Moreover, after controlling for emotion recognition deficits, the FXS group displayed significantly reduced ratings of social approachability. These findings suggest that a social anxiety pattern, rather than poor socioemotional processing, may best explain the social avoidance observed in FXS.

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