Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Front Psychol. 2015 Dec 24;6:1954. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01954. eCollection 2015.

A Multidimensional Approach to the Study of Emotion Recognition in Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Author information

1
Département de Psychiatrie de l'Enfant et l'Adolescent, APHP, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-SalpêtrièreParis, France; Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et Robotique, CNRS UMR 7222, Paris DescartesParis, France.
2
Département de Psychiatrie de l'Enfant et l'Adolescent, APHP, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière Paris, France.
3
Dipartimento di Psicologia, Seconda Università Degli Studi Di Napoli Caserta, Italie.
4
Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et Robotique, CNRS UMR 7222, Paris DescartesParis, France; Institut de Psychologie, Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris CitéBoulogne-Billancourt, France.

Abstract

Although deficits in emotion recognition have been widely reported in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), experiments have been restricted to either facial or vocal expressions. Here, we explored multimodal emotion processing in children with ASD (N = 19) and with typical development (TD, N = 19), considering uni (faces and voices) and multimodal (faces/voices simultaneously) stimuli and developmental comorbidities (neuro-visual, language and motor impairments). Compared to TD controls, children with ASD had rather high and heterogeneous emotion recognition scores but showed also several significant differences: lower emotion recognition scores for visual stimuli, for neutral emotion, and a greater number of saccades during visual task. Multivariate analyses showed that: (1) the difficulties they experienced with visual stimuli were partially alleviated with multimodal stimuli. (2) Developmental age was significantly associated with emotion recognition in TD children, whereas it was the case only for the multimodal task in children with ASD. (3) Language impairments tended to be associated with emotion recognition scores of ASD children in the auditory modality. Conversely, in the visual or bimodal (visuo-auditory) tasks, the impact of developmental coordination disorder or neuro-visual impairments was not found. We conclude that impaired emotion processing constitutes a dimension to explore in the field of ASD, as research has the potential to define more homogeneous subgroups and tailored interventions. However, it is clear that developmental age, the nature of the stimuli, and other developmental comorbidities must also be taken into account when studying this dimension.

KEYWORDS:

autism spectrum disorders; eye tracking; facial emotion; fine motor skills; language comorbidity; multimodal integration; neuro-visual skills; vocal emotion

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Frontiers Media SA Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center