Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 229–235

Brief Report: Cognitive Processing of Own Emotions in Individuals with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and in Their Relatives


  • Elisabeth Hill
    • Institute of Cognitive NeuroscienceUniversity College London
  • Sylvie Berthoz
    • Department of PsychiatryInstitut Mutualiste
  • Uta Frith
    • Institute of Cognitive NeuroscienceUniversity College London

DOI: 10.1023/B:JADD.0000022613.41399.14

Cite this article as:
Hill, E., Berthoz, S. & Frith, U. J Autism Dev Disord (2004) 34: 229. doi:10.1023/B:JADD.0000022613.41399.14


Difficulties in the cognitive processing of emotions—including difficulties identifying and describing feelings—are assumed to be an integral part of autism. We studied such difficulties via self-report in 27 high-functioning adults with autistic spectrum disorders, their biological relatives (n = 49), and normal adult controls (n = 35), using the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory. The individuals with autism spectrum disorders were significantly more impaired in their emotion processing and were more depressed than those in the control and relative groups.

Autismdepressionemotion processingalexithymia

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004