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Impaired Perception of Facial Motion in Autism Spectrum Disorder

O'Brien, J; Spencer, J; Girges, C; Johnston, A; Hill, H; (2014) Impaired Perception of Facial Motion in Autism Spectrum Disorder. PLOS ONE , 9 (7) , Article e102173. 10.1371/journal.pone.0102173. Green open access

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Abstract

Facial motion is a special type of biological motion that transmits cues for socio-emotional communication and enables the discrimination of properties such as gender and identity. We used animated average faces to examine the ability of adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) to perceive facial motion. Participants completed increasingly difficult tasks involving the discrimination of (1) sequences of facial motion, (2) the identity of individuals based on their facial motion and (3) the gender of individuals. Stimuli were presented in both upright and upside-down orientations to test for the difference in inversion effects often found when comparing ASD with controls in face perception. The ASD group’s performance was impaired relative to the control group in all three tasks and unlike the control group, the individuals with ASD failed to show an inversion effect. These results point to a deficit in facial biological motion processing in people with autism, which we suggest is linked to deficits in lower level motion processing we have previously reported.

Type: Article
Title: Impaired Perception of Facial Motion in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102173
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0102173
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2014 O’Brien et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Face, Autism spectrum disorder, Face recognition, Autism, Sensory perception, Vision, Cognitive impairment, Emotions
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Clinical and Movement Neurosciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10082776
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