Manuela Malaspina, Andrea Albonico, Roberta Daini, Paola Ricciardelli

Processing of emotional and non-emotional facial expressions in individuals with Asperger's syndrome and High-Functioning Autism

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Asperger Syndrome; High-Functioning Autism; Face Recognition; Emotional Expressions; Non-emotional Expressions.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the processing of the emotional and non-emotional facial expression and facial features of unfamiliar faces in individuals with Asperger's syndrome (AS) and High-Functioning Autism (HFA). To this end, we tested 14 Adults with AS and HFA and 12 typically developing individuals, matched for age and education level, in a recognition task of faces in which internal features (e.g., eyes size), emotional and non-emotional facial expressions could or could not have been manipulated. Participants were asked first to undergo the recognition task and then a change detection task of the manipulation. Results show not only a face recognition impairment (lower accuracy) in the autistic group, but also a difference in the processing of facial changeable and unchangeable features, and between emotional and non-emotional expressions.

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