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J Autism Dev Disord. 2016 May;46(5):1574-81. doi: 10.1007/s10803-014-2208-5.

Atypical Social Judgment and Sensitivity to Perceptual Cues in Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Author information

1
Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique, Ecole Normale Supérieure, CNRS, EHESS, Paris, France. b.forgeot@gmail.com.
2
Service de Psychopathologie de L'enfant et de L'adolescent, Hôpital Robert-Debré, Paris, France. b.forgeot@gmail.com.
3
Centre de Recherche de L'Institut Universitaire En Santé Mentale de Montréal, Montreal, Canada. b.forgeot@gmail.com.
4
Hôpital Rivière-Des-Prairies, Montreal, Canada. b.forgeot@gmail.com.
5
Programme Troubles Du Spectre Autistique, Centre D'excellence En Troubles Envahissants Du Développement de L'Université de Montréal, Hôpital Rivière-Des-Prairies, 7070 Boul Perras, Montreal, H1E 1A4, Canada. b.forgeot@gmail.com.
6
Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique, Ecole Normale Supérieure, CNRS, EHESS, Paris, France.
7
Institut Jean-Nicod, Ecole Normale Supérieure, CNRS, EHESS, Paris, France.
8
Service de Psychopathologie de L'enfant et de L'adolescent, Hôpital Robert-Debré, Paris, France.
9
AP-HP, DHU PePsy, Pole de Psychiatrie des Hôpitaux Universitaires Henri Mondor, INSERM U955, laboratoire de psychiatrie génétique, Fondation FondaMental, Créteil, France.

Abstract

Evaluation of faces is an important dimension of social relationships. A degraded sensitivity to facial perceptual cues might contribute to atypical social interactions in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The current study investigated whether face based social judgment is atypical in ASD and if so, whether it could be related to a degraded sensitivity to facial perceptual cues. Individuals with ASD (n = 33) and IQ- and age-matched controls (n = 38) were enrolled in this study. Watching a series of photographic or synthetic faces, they had to judge them for "kindness". In synthetic stimuli, the amount of perceptual cues available could be either large or small. We observed that social judgment was atypical in the ASD group on photographic stimuli, but, contrarily to the prediction based on the degraded sensitivity hypothesis, analyses on synthetic stimuli found a similar performance and a similar effect of the amount of perceptual cues in both groups. Further studies on perceptual differences between photographs and synthetic pictures of faces might help understand atypical social judgment in ASD.

KEYWORDS:

Autism; Face processing; Perception; Social cognition; Social judgment

PMID:
25149177
DOI:
10.1007/s10803-014-2208-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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