Impaired Face Processing in Autism: Fact or Artifact?
Within the last 10 years, there has been an upsurge of interest in face processing abilities in autism which has generated a proliferation of new empirical demonstrations employing a variety of measuring techniques. Observably atypical social behaviors early in the development of children with autism have led to the contention that autism is a condition where the processing of social information, particularly faces, is impaired. While several empirical sources of evidence lend support to this hypothesis, others suggest that there are conditions under which autistic individuals do not differ from typically developing persons. The present paper reviews this bulk of empirical evidence, and concludes that the versatility and abilities of face processing in persons with autism have been underestimated.