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J Autism Dev Disord. 2014 Oct;44(10):2486-98. doi: 10.1007/s10803-014-2118-6.

Training facial expression production in children on the autism spectrum.

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Department of Psychology, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 3050, Victoria, BC, V8W 3P5, Canada,


Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show deficits in their ability to produce facial expressions. In this study, a group of children with ASD and IQ-matched, typically developing (TD) children were trained to produce "happy" and "angry" expressions with the FaceMaze computer game. FaceMaze uses an automated computer recognition system that analyzes the child's facial expression in real time. Before and after playing the Angry and Happy versions of FaceMaze, children posed "happy" and "angry" expressions. Naïve raters judged the post-FaceMaze "happy" and "angry" expressions of the ASD group as higher in quality than their pre-FaceMaze productions. Moreover, the post-game expressions of the ASD group were rated as equal in quality as the expressions of the TD group.

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