Researchers continue to make progress understanding the brain pathways that contribute to emotional perception problems in autism. In the figure below, researchers found that autistic subjects show lower levels of R amygdala activation with emotionally 'morphing' pictures.
The important point for parents, teachers, or other professionals working with autistic students is that emotional perception was not absent. In fact, the brain activation areas of another brain region associated with emotional gestures was more similar to non-autistic controls (see below)
For individual students, then it may mean that slow motion video (or morphing) and practice with emotional gesturing (mirroring as well as visually studying) may be the way to improve emotional perception and social cues. Facial movements are quicker and more subtle, and sometimes facial recognition areas significantly affected in autism.
fMRI, Emotional Perception, Movement, and Autism
fMRI, Emotions, and Movement
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