Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 395–400 | Cite as

Normal Physiological Emotions but Differences in Expression of Conscious Feelings in Children with High-Functioning Autism

  • D. Ben Shalom
  • S. H. Mostofsky
  • R. L. Hazlett
  • M. C. Goldberg
  • R. J. Landa
  • Y. Faran
  • D. R. McLeod
  • R. Hoehn-Saric
Article

To provide insight into what aspects of the emotional circuit might be affected in high-functioning autism, we measured indices of physiological emotions and of the expression of conscious feelings in 10 children with high-functioning autism or Asperger syndrome and 10 comparison participants. Pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral pictures were presented while skin conductance responses were measured. Self-report ratings of pleasantness and interestingness were taken between pictures. Skin conductance responses did not differ between the groups. Self report ratings were different, with the children with autism giving more similar answers to the two questions than the comparison children. Impairments in socio-emotional expression in autism may be related to deficits in perception and/or expression of conscious feelings; physiological emotions may be relatively preserved.

Keywords

Amygdala conscious feelings physiological emotions prefrontal cortex. 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Ben Shalom
    • 1
    • 7
  • S. H. Mostofsky
    • 2
    • 3
  • R. L. Hazlett
    • 4
  • M. C. Goldberg
    • 2
    • 5
  • R. J. Landa
    • 5
    • 6
  • Y. Faran
    • 1
  • D. R. McLeod
    • 5
  • R. Hoehn-Saric
    • 5
  1. 1.Zlotowski Center for NeuroscienceBen Gurion University of the NegevBeer ShevaIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Developmental Cognitive NeurologyKennedy Krieger InstituteBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyJohns Hopkins School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Johns Hopkins School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  5. 5.Department of PsychiatryJohns Hopkins School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  6. 6.Center for Autism and Related DisordersKennedy Krieger InstituteBaltimoreUSA
  7. 7.Department of Foreign Literatures and LinguisticsBen Gurion University of the NegevBeer ShevaIsrael

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