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Autism. 2005 Oct;9(4):428-49.

Understanding emotions from standardized facial expressions in autism and normal development.

Author information

  • 1California Institute of Technology, Pasadena 91125, USA. fulvia@hss.caltech.edu

Abstract

The study investigated the recognition of standardized facial expressions of emotion (anger, fear, disgust, happiness, sadness, surprise) at a perceptual level (experiment 1) and at a semantic level (experiments 2 and 3) in children with autism (N = 20) and normally developing children (N = 20). Results revealed that children with autism were as able as controls to recognize all six emotions with different intensity levels, and that they made the same type of errors. These negative findings are discussed in relation to (1) previous data showing specific impairment in autism in recognizing the belief-based expression of surprise, (2) previous data showing specific impairment in autism in recognizing fear, and (3) the convergence of findings that individuals with autism, like patients with amygdala damage, pass a basic emotions recognition test but fail to recognize more complex stimuli involving the perception of faces or part of faces.

PMID:
16155058
DOI:
10.1177/1362361305056082
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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