Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Coming Face To Face With Autism

Date:
April 4, 2009
Source:
University of Nottingham
Summary:
In the first study of its kind researchers will use video clips of spontaneously produced facial expressions in a real life social context to explore emotion recognition in autism.

In the first study of its kind researchers will use video clips of spontaneously produced facial expressions in a real life social context to explore emotion recognition in autism.

This research, carried out at The University of Nottingham, will go beyond the more artificial emotion recognition tasks that have previously been used. The eye movements of volunteers will also be tracked to find out which areas of the face were looked at while volunteers make spontaneous judgements.

The study is being conducted by PhD student Sarah Cassidy who is a member of the Autism Research Team based in the School of Psychology. Her work has been funded through a PhD studentship from the Economic and Social Research Council.

Her work will investigate if people with autism look at faces, particularly in the eye region, differently. If so, does this have any relationship with their ability to recognise emotions in others? What is their understanding of emotions in different social contexts? And as a consequence, how difficult is it for them to socialise and communicate with other people?

Sarah said: “Previous research has suggested that people with autism have difficulty inferring emotion from faces due to lack of attention to the eyes and increased attention to the mouth. However not all studies have shown differences in emotion recognition and eye gaze. There is also little research asking what role reading emotion from the eyes plays in social communication difficulties in autism, with a few studies suggesting a relationship with social competence and responsiveness.”

Sarah is looking for volunteers aged 18 and over who have a diagnoses of autism, autism spectrum disorder or Aspergers syndrome. She also wants to hear from typically developing people, also over the age of 18, who are interested in helping with her research.

Participants will view 21 video clips of facial expressions and will be asked whether the person in the video received chocolate, monopoly money or a home made gift. Each volunteer will have their eye movements measured and will be asked to provide an emotion label for the facial expression. The test will also include logic and vocabulary tasks and an interview and short questionnaire to provide a measure of how challenging each volunteer finds socialising and communicating with others.

Sarah’s supervisor, Professor Peter Mitchell from the School of Psychology, said: “The procedures developed by Sarah allow us to investigate how people with autism process social information under conditions that are close to real life. Previous research has been somewhat contrived and unlike real life. High functioning people with autism tend to perform well on those artificial tasks and therefore this is not particularly informative about the social difficulties suffered by people with autism. Sarah’s study has features that are much closer to challenges faced by people with autism in real life and therefore has potential to tell us precisely what aspects of social functioning are difficult for them.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Nottingham. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Nottingham. "Coming Face To Face With Autism." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090401204203.htm>.
University of Nottingham. (2009, April 4). Coming Face To Face With Autism. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090401204203.htm
University of Nottingham. "Coming Face To Face With Autism." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090401204203.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) It’s an unusual condition with a colorful name. Kids with “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome see sudden distortions in objects they’re looking at or their own bodies appear to change size, a lot like the main character in the Lewis Carroll story. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Scientists have long called choline a “brain booster” essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain cancer in humans. Now a new treatment using the patient’s own tumor could help slow down its progression and help patients live longer. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins