Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 371–377 | Cite as

Brief Report: Representational Momentum for Dynamic Facial Expressions in Pervasive Developmental Disorder

  • Shota UonoEmail author
  • Wataru Sato
  • Motomi Toichi
Brief Report


Individuals with pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) have difficulty with social communication via emotional facial expressions, but behavioral studies involving static images have reported inconsistent findings about emotion recognition. We investigated whether dynamic presentation of facial expression would enhance subjective perception of expressed emotion in 13 individuals with PDD and 13 typically developing controls. We presented dynamic and static emotional (fearful and happy) expressions. Participants were asked to match a changeable emotional face display with the last presented image. The results showed that both groups perceived the last image of dynamic facial expression to be more emotionally exaggerated than the static facial expression. This finding suggests that individuals with PDD have an intact perceptual mechanism for processing dynamic information in another individual’s face.


Asperger’s disorder Dynamic facial expression Pervasive developmental disorder Representational momentum 


  1. Adolphs, R. (2002). Neural systems for recognizing emotion. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 12, 169–177.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Adolphs, R., Sears, L., & Piven, J. (2001). Abnormal processing of social information from faces in autism. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 13, 232–240.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual for mental disorders (DSM-IV-TR). Washington, DC: APA.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Azuma, H., Ueno, K., Fujita, K., Maekawa, H., Ishikuma, T., & Sano, H. (1998). Japanese Wechsler intelligence scale for children—III. Tokyo: Nihon-Bunka-Kagaku-sha.Google Scholar
  5. Bould, E., Morris, N., & Wink, B. (2008). Recognising subtle emotional expressions: The role of facial movements. Cognition and Emotion, 22, 1569–1587.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Castelli, F. (2005). Understanding emotions from standardized facial expressions in autism and normal development. Autism, 9, 428–449.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Corden, B., Chilvers, R., & Skuse, D. (2008). Avoidance of emotionally arousing stimuli predicts social-perceptual impairment in Asperger’s syndrome. Neuropsychologia, 46, 137–147.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Corona, R., Dissanayake, C., Arbelle, S., Wellington, P., & Sigman, M. (1998). Is affect aversive to young children with autism? Behavioral and cardiac responses to experimenter distress. Child Development, 69, 1494–1502.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. V. (1976). Pictures of facial affect. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
  10. Elfenbein, H. A., & Ambady, N. (2002). On the universality and cultural specificity of emotion recognition: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 128, 203–235.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Freyd, J. J., & Finke, R. A. (1984). Representational momentum. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 10, 126–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fujita, K., Maekawa, H., Dairoku, H., & Yamanaka, K. (2006). Japanese Wechsler adult intelligence scale—III. Tokyo: Nihon-Bunka-Kagaku-sha.Google Scholar
  13. Gepner, B. (2004). Autism, movement, and facial processing. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 161, 1719.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Gepner, B., Deruelle, C., & Grynfeltt, S. (2001). Motion and emotion: A novel approach to the study of face processing by young autistic children. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31, 37–45.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Hubbard, T. L. (1990). Cognitive representation of linear motion: Possible direction and gravity effects in judged displacement. Memory and Cognition, 18, 299–309.Google Scholar
  16. Hubert, B., Wicker, B., Moore, D. G., Monfardini, E., Duverger, H., Da Fonseca, D., et al. (2007). Recognition of emotional and non-emotional biological motion in individual with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 1386–1392.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Kelly, M. H., & Freyd, J. J. (1987). Explorations of representational momentum. Cognitive Psychology, 19, 369–401.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Kodama, H., Shinagawa, F., & Motegi, M. (1982). Japanese Wechsler intelligence scale for children—revised. Tokyo: Nihon-Bunka-Kagaku-sha.Google Scholar
  19. Kourtzi, Z., & Kanwisher, N. (2000). Activation in human MT/MST by static images with implied motion. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 12, 48–55.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Moore, D. G., Hobson, R. P., & Lee, A. (1997). Components of person perception: An investigation with autistic, non-autistic retarded, and typically developing children and adolescents. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 15, 401–423.Google Scholar
  21. Mukaida, S., Kamachi, M., Kato, T., Oda, M., Yoshikawa, S., & Akamatsu, S. (2000). Foolproof utilities for facial image manipulation [unpublished computer software]. Kyoto: ATR.Google Scholar
  22. Pelphrey, K. A., Morris, J. P., & McCarthy, G. (2005). Neural basis of eye gaze processing deficits in autism. Brain, 128, 1038–1048.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Pelphrey, K. A., Morris, J. P., McCarthy, G., & Labar, K. S. (2007). Perception of dynamic changes in facial affect and identity in autism. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2, 140–149.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Sakamoto, Y., Ishiguro, M., & Kitagawa, G. (1986). Akaike information criterion statistics. Tokyo: KTK Scientific Publishers.Google Scholar
  25. Sato, W., & Yoshikawa, S. (2007). Enhanced experience of emotional arousal in response to dynamic facial expressions. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 31, 119–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Senior, C., Barnes, J., Giampietro, V., Simmons, A., Bullmore, E. T., Brammer, M., et al. (2000). The functional neuroanatomy of implicit-motion perception or representational momentum. Current Biology, 10, 16–22.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Shinagawa, F., Kobayashi, D., Fujita, K., & Maekawa, H. (1990). Japanese Wechsler adult intelligence scale—revised. Tokyo: Nihon-Bunka-Kagaku-sha.Google Scholar
  28. Tardif, C., Lainé, F., Rodriguez, M., & Gepner, B. (2007). Slowing down presentation of facial movements and vocal sounds enhances facial expression recognition and induces facial-vocal imitation in children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 1469–1484.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Yoshikawa, S., & Sato, W. (2008). Dynamic facial expressions of emotion induce representational momentum. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, 8, 25–31.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cognitive Psychology in Education, Faculty of EducationKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Comparative Study of Cognitive Development (Funded by Benesse Corporation), Primate Research InstituteKyoto UniversityInuyama, AichiJapan
  3. 3.Faculty of Human Health Science, Graduate School of MedicineKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

Personalised recommendations