Can Individuals with Autism Abstract Prototypes of Natural Faces?
- 330 Downloads
There is a growing amount of evidence suggesting that individuals with autism have difficulty with face processing. One basic cognitive ability that may underlie face processing difficulties is the ability to abstract a prototype. The current study examined prototype formation with natural faces using eye-tracking in high-functioning adults with autism and matched controls. Individuals with autism were found to have significant difficulty forming prototypes of natural faces. The eye-tracking data did not reveal any between group differences in the general pattern of attention to the faces, indicating that these difficulties were not due to attentional factors. Results are consistent with previous studies that have found a deficit in prototype formation and extend these deficits to natural faces.
KeywordsPrototype Autism Face perception Cognition
- Best, C. A., & Strauss, M. S. (2007, April). A face in the crowd: Recognition memory for distinctive faces in infancy. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Boston, MA.Google Scholar
- Gadow, K., Sprafkin, J., & Weiss, M. (1999). Adult symptom inventory-4. Stony Brook, NY: Checkmate Plus.Google Scholar
- Humphreys, K. (2003). The development of face-space: An exploration. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of London, London, England.Google Scholar
- Klinger, L. G., & Dawson, G. (2001). Prototype formation in autism. Development and Psychology, 13, 111–124.Google Scholar
- Klinger, L. G., Klinger, M. R., & Pohlig, R. L. (2006). Implicit learning impairments in autism spectrum disorders: Implications for treatment. In J. M. Perez, P. M. Gonzalez, M. L. Comi, & C. Nieto (Eds.), New developments in autism: The future is today (pp. 75–102). London: Kingsley Press.Google Scholar
- Newell, L. C., Best, C. A., Gastgeb, H., Rump, K. M., & Strauss, M. S. (2010). The development of categorization and facial knowledge: Implications for the study of autism. In L. M. Oakes, C. H. Cashon, M. Casasola, & D. H. Rakison (Eds.), Infant perception and cognition: Recent advances, emerging theories, and future directions. New York: Oxford Press.Google Scholar
- Pelphrey, K. A., Sasson, N. J., Reznick, J. S., Paul, G., Goldman, B. D., & Piven, J. (2002). Visual scanning of faces in autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 26, 146–160.Google Scholar
- Plaisted, K. C. (2000). Aspects of autism that theory of mind cannot explain. In S. Baron-Cohen, H. Tager-Flusberg, & D. J. Cohen (Eds.), Understanding other minds: Perspectives from developmental cognitive neuroscience. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Tanaka, J. W., Wolf, J. M., Klaiman, C., Koenig, K., Cockburn, J., Herlihy, L., et al. (2010). Using computerized games to teach face recognition skills to children with autism spectrum disorder: The let’s face it! Program. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51, 944–952.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Valentine, T. (1991). A unified account of the effects of distinctiveness, inversion, and race in face recognition. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 43A, 161–204.Google Scholar
- Wechsler, D. (1999). Wechsler abbreviated scale of intelligence. San Antonio: The Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar