Deficit of Neutral Facial Expression Recognition between Children with High-Functioning Autism and Typical Peers Aged 7-11

Navid Mirzakhani Araghi, Akbar Zahedi Barough, Mehdi Alizadeh Zareie, Alireza Akbarzadeh Baghban, Zahra Pashazadeh Azari, Mehdi Rezaie, Maryam Oraki



Background  and Aim: Highly likely due to deficiency in facial emotion recogniti on as well as  , Individuals suffering from Autestic spectrum disorder are impaired in interpersonal and social skills. The objective of this study was to compare this ability between children with High-Functioning Autism with Typical peers. Comparing recognition of neutral state was used for the first time.

Materials and Methods: In this study 27 High-Functioning Autism  and 27 Typical boys between 7 and 11  years of age participated who were matched based on age, and performance,verbal and overall IQ.Using computerised researcher-made test in MATLAB software,The reasercher made a Comparison between neutral face and facial emotions, including fear and surprise.The results were analysed using two methods: repeated measures (ANOVA) and independent t-test; and SPSS software version 19.

Results:The results indicated that the two groups in terms of facial emotion recognition have significant difference (F (1,50) = 7.288, p = 0.009).Difference in the recognition of neutral face with  female gender was observed (t = 2.574, p = 0.013). Reaction time differences between the two groups was not significant (F (1,50) = 4.002, P = .051). Differences in reaction time in both groups and in three facial expressions was observed in male targets respectively as follows: (t = -2.305, p = .025), (t = -2.160, p = .035), (t = -2.654, p = 0.011).

Conclusion: In recognition of neutral faces with  female gender targets , people with High-Functioning Autism  performed weaker than typical peers and their reaction time were increased in males gender targets.

Key words: high-functioning Autism, facial expression recognition, neutral face


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