Spatial Frequency and Face Processing in Children with Autism and Asperger Syndrome
- Cite this article as:
- Deruelle, C., Rondan, C., Gepner, B. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2004) 34: 199. doi:10.1023/B:JADD.0000022610.09668.4c
Two experiments were designed to investigate possible abnormal face processing strategies in children with autistic spectrum disorders. A group of 11 children with autism was compared to two groups of normally developing children matched on verbal mental age and on chronological age. In the first experiment, participants had to recognize faces on the basis of identity, emotion, gaze direction, gender, and lip reading. All aspects of face processing, except for identity matching, were deficient in the autistic population compared with controls. In the second study, children had to match faces on either high–(i.e., local facial features) or low–spatial frequency information (i.e., global configuration of faces). Contrary to the control subjects, children with autism showed better performance when using high rather than low spatial frequency, confirming face-processing peculiarities in this population.