THURSDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Children with bipolar disorder and a similar condition called severe mood dysregulation spend less time looking at the eyes when trying to identify facial features, compared to children without the psychiatric disorders, researchers say.
This new study finding may help explain why children with bipolar disorder and severe mood dysregulation have difficulty determining other people's emotional expressions, said the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health investigators.
The researchers tracked the eye movements of children with and without psychiatric disorders as they viewed faces with different emotional expressions, such as happy, sad, fearful and angry. In general, the children spent more time looking at the eyes, the facial feature that conveys the most information about emotion.
However, children with bipolar disorder and severe mood dysregulation paid less attention to the eyes and more attention to the noses and mouths of the faces.