Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 37, Issue 6, pp 1086–1095

Emotion Perception in Asperger’s Syndrome and High-functioning Autism: The Importance of Diagnostic Criteria and Cue Intensity

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-006-0251-6

Cite this article as:
Mazefsky, C.A. & Oswald, D.P. J Autism Dev Disord (2007) 37: 1086. doi:10.1007/s10803-006-0251-6


This study compared emotion perception accuracy between children with Asperger’s syndrome (AS) and high-functioning autism (HFA). Thirty children were diagnosed with AS or HFA based on empirically supported diagnostic criteria and administered an emotion perception test consisting of facial expressions and tone of voice cues that varied in intensity. Participants with AS and the typically developing standardization sample of the emotion perception instrument had the same mean emotion perception accuracy, whereas participants with HFA performed significantly worse. Results also provided preliminary evidence for a difference in accuracy perceiving low-intensity tone of voice cues between participants with HFA and AS. Future research to build on these initial findings should include attention to tone of voice, underlying processing, and cue intensity.


EmotionNonverbal cuesAsperger’s syndromeHigh-functioning autismDiagnosis

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  3. 3.Departments of Pediatrics and PsychiatryUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  4. 4.Child Development UnitChildren’s Hospital of PittsburghPittsburghUSA