Thursday, January 12, 2006

Emotional Face Processing and Autism

Here's a study that shows that some people with high functioning autism have more trouble matching up similar emotional expressions (perceptual matching), than labeling with words. This may explain why some HFA students seem to be able to correctly answer emotional expression questions in practice, but struggle in real-life situations.

We have to be careful about thinking that students 'know' by how they've responded to us in words. Nonverbal practice should be interactive with frequent feedback to them. This can be done like drama practice, impersonations, or charades. Practice with a mirror may help, and verbal labeling and exaggeration can improve visual recognition.

1 comment:

  1. It seems to me that "Angry vs Afraid" is not the best choice of emotions to be used in such a test with autistic subjects... because the main difference lies in raised eyebrows (for afraid) when, generally, Anger + Exasperation elicits a very similar raised eye-brow expression... and is (unfortunately) probably witnessed by the autistic person much more frequently than simple Anger.