Abnormal use of facial information in high-functioning autism

Michael L. Spezio, Ralph Adolphs*, Robert S.E. Hurley, Joseph Piven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

206 Scopus citations

Abstract

Altered visual exploration of faces likely contributes to social cognition deficits seen in autism. To investigate the relationship between face gaze and social cognition in autism, we measured both face gaze and how facial regions were actually used during emotion judgments from faces. Compared to IQ-matched healthy controls, nine high-functioning adults with autism failed to make use of information from the eye region of faces, instead relying primarily on information from the mouth. Face gaze accounted for the increased reliance on the mouth, and partially accounted for the deficit in using information from the eyes. These findings provide a novel quantitative assessment of how people with autism utilize information in faces when making social judgments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)929-939
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume37
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2007

Keywords

  • Bubbles
  • Emotion
  • Eyetracking
  • Facial information
  • Social cognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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