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. 2017 Aug;47(8):2628-2634.
doi: 10.1007/s10803-017-3174-5.

Brief Report: Is Impaired Classification of Subtle Facial Expressions in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders Related to Atypical Emotion Category Boundaries?

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Brief Report: Is Impaired Classification of Subtle Facial Expressions in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders Related to Atypical Emotion Category Boundaries?

Lydia R Whitaker et al. J Autism Dev Disord. .

Abstract

Impairments in recognizing subtle facial expressions, in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), may relate to difficulties in constructing prototypes of these expressions. Eighteen children with predominantly intellectual low-functioning ASD (LFA, IQ <80) and two control groups (mental and chronological age matched), were assessed for their ability to classify emotional faces, of high, medium and low intensities, as happy or angry. For anger, the LFA group made more errors for lower intensity expressions than the control groups, classifications did not differ for happiness. This is the first study to find that the LFA group made more across-valence errors than controls. These data are consistent with atypical facial expression processing in ASD being associated with differences in the structure of emotion categories.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder; Categorization; Children; Emotion; Facial expression; Intensity.

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