Global–Local Precedence in the Perception of Facial Age and Emotional Expression by Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities

Article

Abstract

Global information processing and perception of facial age and emotional expression was studied in children with autism, language disorders, mental retardation, and a clinical control group. Children were given a global–local task and asked to recognize age and emotion in human and canine faces. Children with autism made fewer global responses and more errors when recognizing human and canine emotions and canine age than children without autism. Significant relationships were found between global information processing and the recognition of human and canine emotions and canine age. Results are discussed with respect to the relationship between global information processing and face perception and neural structures underlying these abilities.

Keywords

Autism face perception global processing 

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington DC: AuthorGoogle Scholar
  2. Baron-Cohen S., Campbell R., Karmiloff-Smith A., Grant J., Walker J. (1995). Are children with autism blind to the mentalistic significance of the eyes? British Journal of Developmental Psychology 13: 379–398Google Scholar
  3. Baron-Cohen S., Wheelwright S., Joliffe T. (1997). Is there a “language of the eyes?” Evidence from normal adults and adults with autism or Aspergers syndrome Visual Cognition 4: 311–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bartlett J. C., Search J. (1993). Inversion and configuration of faces Cognitive Psychology 25: 281–316PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bekoff M., (1995). Cognitive ethlogy and the explanation of nonhuman animal behavior In Roitblat H. L., Meyer J. (eds) Comparative approaches to cognitive sciences The MIT Press Cambridge, MA (pp. 119–150)Google Scholar
  6. Bliem H. R., Danek A. (1999). Direct evidence for a consistent dissociation between structural facial discrimination and facial individuation in prosopagnosia Brain & Cognition 40: 48–52Google Scholar
  7. Bliem H. R., (1998). Experimental and clinical exploration of a possible neural subsystem underlying configural face processing Brain and Cognition 37: 16–18Google Scholar
  8. Borman-Kischkel C., Vilsmeier M., Baude B. (1995). The development of emotional concepts in autism Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines 36: 1243–1259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brosnan M. J., Scott F. J., Fox S., Pye J. (2004). Gestalt processing in autism: Failure to process perceptual relationships and the implications for contextual understanding Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines 45: 459–469CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Capps, L. & Sigman, M. (1996). Autistic aloneness. In R. D. Kavanaugh, B. Simmeberg, et al. (Eds.), Emotion: Interdisciplinary perspectives (pp. 237–296). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, IncGoogle Scholar
  11. Carey S., Diamond R. (1977). Developmental changes in the representation of faces Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 23: 1–22PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Carey, S. & Diamond, R. (1994). Are faces perceived as configurations more by adults than by children? Visual Cognition, 1(special issue), 253–274Google Scholar
  13. Celani G., Battacchi M. W., Arcidiacono L. (1999). The understanding of the emotional meaning of facial expression in people with autism Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 29: 57–66PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Darwin C. (1965). The expression of emotions in man and animals The University of Chicago ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  15. Dawson G., Carver L., Meltzoff A. N., Panagiotides H., McPartland J., Webb S. J. (2002). Neural correlates of face and object recognition in young children with autism spectrum disorder, developmental delay and typical development Child Development 73: 700–717PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dimberg U., Petterson M. (2000). Facial reactions to happy and angry facial expressions: Evidence for right hemisphere dominance Psychophysiology 37: 693–696PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dulaney C. L., Marks W., Devine C. (1994). Global/local processing in mentally retarded and nonretarded persons Intelligence 19: 245–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ekman P., (1992). Telling lies: Clues to deceit in the marketplace, politics, and marriage Norton New YorkGoogle Scholar
  19. Fallshore M., Bartholow J. (2003). Recognition of emotion from inverted schematic drawings of faces Perceptual and Motor Skills 96: 236–244PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Feinman S., (1980). Infants response to race, size, proximity, and movement of strangers Infant Behavior and Development 3: 189–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fink G. R., Marshall J. C., Halligan P. W., Dolan R. J. (1999). Hemispheric asymmetries in global/local processing modulated by perceptual space Neuropsycologia 37: 31–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Frith U., Happé F. (1994). Autism: Beyond ‘theory of mind’ Cognition 50: 115–132PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. George P. A., Hole G. J. (2000). The role of spatial and surface cues in the age processing of unfamiliar faces Visual Cognition 7: 485–509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. George P. A., Hole G. J., Scaife M. (2000). Factors influencing young children’s ability to discriminate unfamiliar faces by age International Journal of Behavioral Development 24: 480–491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gepner B., de Gelder B., de Schonen S. (1996). Face processing in autistics: Evidence for a generalized deficit? Child Neuropsychology 4: 187–198Google Scholar
  26. Gross T. F. (2004). The perception of four basic emotions in human and nonhuman faces by children with autism and other developmental disabilities Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 32: 469–480PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gross T. F. (2002). Perception of human and nonhuman facial age by developmentally disabled children Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 32: 169–179PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gross T. F. (1997). Children’s perception of faces of varied immaturity Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 66: 42–66PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Happé F. G. E. (1997). Central coherence theory and theory of mind in autism: reading homographs in context British Journal of Developmental Psychology 15: 1–12Google Scholar
  30. Hauck M., Fein D., Maltby N., Waterhouse L., Feinstein C. (1998). Memory for faces in children with autism Child Neuropsychology 4: 187–198Google Scholar
  31. Hobson R. P. (1983). The autistic child’s recognition of age-related features of people, animals and things British Journal of Developmental Psychology 1: 343–352Google Scholar
  32. Hobson R. P., Ouston J., Lee A. (1989). Naming emotion in faces and voices: Abilities and disabilities in autism and mental retardation British Journal of Developmental Psychology 7: 237–250Google Scholar
  33. Hole G. J., George P. A., Eaves K., Rasek A. (2002). Effects of geometric distortions on face-recognition performance Perception 31: 1221–1240PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jones G., Smith P. K. (1984). The eyes have it: Young children’s discrimination of age in masked and unmasked facial photographs Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 38: 328–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Joseph R. M., Tanaka J. (2003). Holistic and part-based face recognition in children with autism Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry & Allied Disciplines 44: 529–542CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Klin A., Jones W., Schultz R., Volkmar F., Cohen D. (2002). Visual fixation patterns during viewing of naturalistic social situations as predictors of social competence in individuals with autism Archives of General Psychology 59: 809–816CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Klin A., Sparrow S. S., de Bildt A., Cicchetti D. V., Cohen D. J., Volkmar F. R. (1999). A normed study of face recognition in autism and related disorders Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 29: 499–508PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Koegel R., Koegel L., Parks D. R. (1995). “Teach the individual” model of generalization: Autonomy through self management In Koegel R., Koegel L. (eds) Teaching children with autism: Strategies for initiating positive interactions and improving learning opportunities Paul H. Brookes publishing Co Baltimore, MD (pp. 67–77)Google Scholar
  39. Kucharska-Pietura K., Phillips M. L., Gernand W., David A. S. (2003). Perception of emotion from faces and voices following unilateral brain damage Neuropsychologia 41: 1082–1090PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Leinbach M., Fagot B. (1993). Categorical habituation to male and female faces: Gender schematic processing in infancy Infant Behavior and Development 16: 317–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Le Grand R., Mondloch C. J., Maurer D., Brendt H. P. (2001) Early visual experience and face processing Nature 410: 890PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Masson J. M., McCarthy S. (1995). When elephants weep: The emotional lives of animals NY Delcorte PressGoogle Scholar
  43. McCall R. B., Kennedy C. B. (1980). Attention of 4-month infants to discrepancy and babyishness Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 29: 189–201PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mondloch C. J., Geldart S., Maurer D., de Schonen S. (2003). Developmental changes in the processing of hierarchical shapes continue into adolescence Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 84: 20–40PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Milne E., Swettenham J., Hansen P., Campbell R., Jeffries H., Plaisted K. (2002). High motion coherence thresholds in children with autism Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines 43: 255–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Mondloch C. J., Le Grand R., Maurer D. (2002). Configural face processing develops more slowly than featural face processing Perception 31: 553–566PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Mottron L., Burack J. A., Iarocci G., Belleville S., Enns J. T. (2003). Locally oriented perception with intact global processing among adolescents with high-functioning autism: Evidence from multiple paradigms Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines 44: 904–913CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Nadel J., Croue S., Mattlinger M., Canet P., Hudelot C., Lecuyer C., Martini M. (2000). Do children with autism have expectancies about social behaviour of unfamiliar people? A pilot study using the still face paradigm Autism 4: 133–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Navon D. (1977). Forest before trees: The precedence of global features in visual perception Cognitive Psychology 9: 353–383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Navon D. (1981). The forest revisited: More on global precedence Psychological Research 43: 1–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Ozonoff S., Pennington B. F., Rogers S. J. (1990). Are their emotional perception deficits in young autistic children Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 31: 343–361PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Ozonoff S., Strayer D. L., McMahon W. M., Filloux F. (1994). Executive function abilities in autism and Tourette syndrome: An information-processing approach Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines 35: 1015–1032CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Pellicano E., Rhodes G. (2003). Holistic processing of facers in preschool children and adults Psychological Science 14: 618–622PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Pelphrey K. A., Sasson N. J., Reznick S. J., Paul G., Goldman B. D., Piven J. (2002). Visual scanning of faces in autism Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 32: 249–261PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Plaisted, K. C. (2001). Reduced generalization in autism: An alternative to weak central coherence. In J. A. Burack, T. Charman, et al. (Eds.), The development of autism: Perspectives from theory and research (pp. 149–169). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, PublishersGoogle Scholar
  56. Plaisted K., Swettenham J., Rees L. (1999). Children with autism show local precedence in a divided attention task and global precedence in a selective attention task Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry & Allied Disciplines 40: 733–742CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Prkachin G. C. (2003). The effects of orientation on detection and identification of facial expressions of emotion British Journal of Psychology 94: 45–62PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Prodan C. I., Orbelo D. M., Testa J. A., Ross E. D. (2001). Hemispheric differences in recognizing upper and lower facial displays of emotion Neuropsychiatry, Neuropsychology, and Behavioral Neurology 14: 206–212PubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Proverbio A. M., Minniti A. R., Zani A. (1998). Electrophysiological evidence of a perceptual precedence of global vs. local visual information Cognitive Brain Research 6: 321–334PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Rinehart N. J., Bradshaw J. L., Moss S. A., Brereton A. V., Tonge B. J. (2000). Atypical interference of local detail on global processing in high-functioning autism and Asperger’s disorder Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry & Allied Disciplines 41: 769–778CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Roid G. H., Miller L. J. (1997). Leiter international performance scale-revised Stoelting Co Wood Dale, ILGoogle Scholar
  62. Rondan C., Gepner B., Deruelle C., (2003) Inner and outer face perception in children with autism Child Neuropsychology 9: 289–297PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Roesler A., Languillon S., Dippel O., Braune H. J. (1997). Impairment of facial recognition in patients with right cerebral infarcts quantified by computer aided “morphing” Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, & Psychiatry 62: 261–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Rojahn J., Rabold D. E., Schneider F. (1995). Emotion specificity in mental retardation American Journal of Mental Retardation 99: 477–486PubMedGoogle Scholar
  65. Schopler E., Reichler R. J., Renner B. R. (1988). The childhood autism rating scale Los Angeles, CA Western Psychological ServicesGoogle Scholar
  66. Serra M., Althaus M., de Sonneville L. M. J., Stant A. D., Jackson A. E., Minderaa R. B. (2003). Face recognition in children with pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 33: 303–317PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Sigman M. D., Kasari C., Kwon J., Yirmiya N. (1992). Responses to the negative emotions of others by autistic, mentally retarded, and normal children Child Develoment 63: 796–807CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Smith C. A., Scott H. S. (1998). A componential approach to the meaning of facial expression In Russell J. A., Fernandez-Dols J. M. (eds) The psychology of facial expression Cambridge University Press NY (pp. 229–254)Google Scholar
  69. Sparrow S. S., Balla D. A., Cicchetti D. V. (1984). Vineland adaptive behavior scales Circle Pines, MN American Guidance Service, IncGoogle Scholar
  70. Tanaka J. W., Kay J. B., Grinnell E., Stansfield B., Szechter L. (1998). Face recognition in young children: When the whole is greater than the sum of its parts Visual Cognition 5: 479–496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Tantam D., Monaghan L., Nicholson H., Stirling J. (1989). Autistic children’s ability to interpret faces: A research note Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines 30: 623–630CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Teunisse J., de Gelder B. (2001). Impaired categorical perception of facial expressions in high-functioning adolescents with autism Child Neuropsychology 7: 1–14PubMedGoogle Scholar
  73. Thorndike R. L., Hagen E. P., Sattler J. M. (1986). Stanford-Binet intelligence scale 4th Chicago, IL The Riverside Publishing CompanyGoogle Scholar
  74. Trepagnier C., Sebrechts M. M., Peterson R. (2002). Atypical face gaze in autism Cyberpsychology and Behavior 5: 213–217PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Walton G. E., Bower N. J. A., Bower T. G. R. (1992). Recognition of familiarity by newborns Infant Behavior and Development 15: 265–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Wechsler D. (1991). Wechsler intelligence scale for children 3rd New York, NY The Psychological CorporationGoogle Scholar
  77. White M. (1999). Representations of facial expressions of emotion American Journal of Psychology 112: 371–381PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. White M. (2000). Parts and wholes in expression recognition Cognition and Emotions 14: 39–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Williams M. A., Moss S. A., Bradshaw J. L. (2004). A unique look at face processing: The impact of masked faces on processing of facial features Cognition 91: 155–172PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of RedlandsRedlandsUSA

Personalised recommendations