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J Autism Dev Disord. 2007 Sep;37(8):1469-84. Epub 2006 Oct 7.

Slowing down presentation of facial movements and vocal sounds enhances facial expression recognition and induces facial-vocal imitation in children with autism.

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Laboratoire de Psychologie de la Connaissance, du Langage et des Emotions (PSYCLE), UFR de Psychologie, Université de Provence, Aix-en-Provence, France.


This study examined the effects of slowing down presentation of facial expressions and their corresponding vocal sounds on facial expression recognition and facial and/or vocal imitation in children with autism. Twelve autistic children and twenty-four normal control children were presented with emotional and non-emotional facial expressions on CD-Rom, under audio or silent conditions, and under dynamic visual conditions (slowly, very slowly, at normal speed) plus a static control. Overall, children with autism showed lower performance in expression recognition and more induced facial-vocal imitation than controls. In the autistic group, facial expression recognition and induced facial-vocal imitation were significantly enhanced in slow conditions. Findings may give new perspectives for understanding and intervention for verbal and emotional perceptive and communicative impairments in autistic populations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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