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Psychol Med. 1988 Nov;18(4):911-23.

Emotion recognition in autism: coordinating faces and voices.

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  • 1Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, London.


Autistic and non-autistic mentally retarded adolescents and young adults were individually matched for age and verbal ability and were given tasks in which they chose photographs of faces for emotionally expressive voices, and photographs of non-emotional things or events to accompany recorded sounds. The results were that relative to control subjects, autistic individuals performed less well on the emotion tasks than on the non-emotion tasks. The findings suggest that autistic individuals have a disability in recognizing bodily expressions of emotion, and that there is a degree of task-specificity to this impairment.

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