Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show differences in face processing abilities from early in development. To examine whether these differences reflect an atypical versus delayed developmental trajectory, neural responses to familiar and unfamiliar faces in twenty-four 18- to 47-month-old children with ASD were compared with responses of thirty-two 12- to 30-month-old typically developing children. Results of 2 experiments revealed that neural responses to faces in children with ASD resembled those observed in younger typically developing children, suggesting delayed development. Electrophysiological responses to faces were also related to parent report of adaptive social behaviors for both children with ASD and typical development. Slower development of the face processing system in ASD may be related to reduced self-directed "expected" experience with faces in early development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology