ERP responses to face repetition during passive viewing: a nonverbal measure of social motivation in children with autism and typical development

Dev Neuropsychol. 2014;39(6):474-95. doi: 10.1080/87565641.2014.940620.


This study examined whether individual differences in social motivation affect the extent of processing of social versus nonsocial information. Event-related potentials were recorded in 13 children with autism spectrum disorder and 11 typically developing children during passive viewing of unfamiliar faces and houses. One image in each category was presented repeatedly, the rest were shown once. Analyses indicated no group differences in the early perceptual responses. Only typical children evidenced larger P600 for the repeated faces. These results were replicated during a retest session. Individual differences in memory for the repeated faces correlated with standardized behavioral assessments of social skills.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / physiopathology
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / psychology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual / physiology*
  • Face*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Motivation*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Social Behavior*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*