Emotion Recognition in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders

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We examined upper facial basic emotion recognition in 57 subjects with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) (M = 13.5 years) and 33 typically developing controls (M = 14.3 years) by using a standardized computer-aided measure (The Frankfurt Test and Training of Facial Affect Recognition, FEFA). The ASD group scored lower than controls on the total scores of FEFA and perceived ambiguous stimuli more often as a negative emotion. The older ASD group (≥12 years) performed better than the younger ASD group (<12 years) on the blended emotions of FEFA. The results support the findings that individuals with ASD have difficulties in emotion recognition. However, older subjects with ASD seem to have better skills than younger subjects with ASD.

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