Brief report: Face configuration accuracy and processing speed among adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders

Susan Faja, Sara Jane Webb, Kristen Merkle, Elizabeth Aylward, Geraldine Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present study investigates the accuracy and speed of face processing employed by high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Two behavioral experiments measured sensitivity to distances between features and face recognition when performance depended on holistic versus featural information. Results suggest adults with ASD were less accurate, but responded as quickly as controls for both tasks. In contrast to previous findings with children, adults with ASD demonstrated a holistic advantage only when the eye region was tested. Both groups recognized large manipulations to second-order relations more accurately than no change or small changes, but controls responded more quickly than participants with ASD when recognizing these large manipulations to configural information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-538
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume39
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Asperger's disorder
  • Configural processing
  • High functioning autism
  • Holistic processing
  • Social cognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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