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Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 46, Issue 5, pp 1574–1581 | Cite as

Atypical Social Judgment and Sensitivity to Perceptual Cues in Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Baudouin Forgeot d’Arc
  • Franck Ramus
  • Aline Lefebvre
  • Delphine Brottier
  • Tiziana Zalla
  • Sanaa Moukawane
  • Frédérique Amsellem
  • Laurence Letellier
  • Hugo Peyre
  • Marie-Christine Mouren
  • Marion Leboyer
  • Richard Delorme
Perception In Autism

Abstract

Evaluation of faces is an important dimension of social relationships. A degraded sensitivity to facial perceptual cues might contribute to atypical social interactions in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The current study investigated whether face based social judgment is atypical in ASD and if so, whether it could be related to a degraded sensitivity to facial perceptual cues. Individuals with ASD (n = 33) and IQ- and age-matched controls (n = 38) were enrolled in this study. Watching a series of photographic or synthetic faces, they had to judge them for “kindness”. In synthetic stimuli, the amount of perceptual cues available could be either large or small. We observed that social judgment was atypical in the ASD group on photographic stimuli, but, contrarily to the prediction based on the degraded sensitivity hypothesis, analyses on synthetic stimuli found a similar performance and a similar effect of the amount of perceptual cues in both groups. Further studies on perceptual differences between photographs and synthetic pictures of faces might help understand atypical social judgment in ASD.

Keywords

Autism Social judgment Face processing Social cognition Perception 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank participants and their families who took of their time to take part to this study. The data for this study were collected as part of the C0733 study, a program of Institut National pour la Santé et la Recherche Médicale (INSERM). Further support came from Fondation FondaMental, Agence Nationale de la Recherche (Contracts ANR-09-BLAN-0327 SOCODEV, ANR-10-LABX-0087 IEC and ANR-10-IDEX-0001-02 PSL), Assistance Publique des Hôpitaux de Paris and the Centre d’investigation Clinique de l’Hôpital Robert-Debré. BFA was granted by Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, AL by the french Académie de Médecine, Richard Delorme by CNR.

Supplementary material

10803_2014_2208_MOESM1_ESM.doc (42 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 42 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Baudouin Forgeot d’Arc
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  • Franck Ramus
    • 1
  • Aline Lefebvre
    • 1
  • Delphine Brottier
    • 1
  • Tiziana Zalla
    • 3
  • Sanaa Moukawane
    • 1
  • Frédérique Amsellem
    • 2
  • Laurence Letellier
    • 2
  • Hugo Peyre
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marie-Christine Mouren
    • 2
  • Marion Leboyer
    • 4
  • Richard Delorme
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique, Ecole Normale SupérieureCNRS, EHESSParisFrance
  2. 2.Service de Psychopathologie de L’enfant et de L’adolescentHôpital Robert-DebréParisFrance
  3. 3.Institut Jean-Nicod, Ecole Normale SupérieureCNRS, EHESSParisFrance
  4. 4.AP-HP, DHU PePsy, Pole de Psychiatrie des Hôpitaux Universitaires Henri Mondor, INSERM U955, laboratoire de psychiatrie génétique, Fondation FondaMentalCréteilFrance
  5. 5.Centre de Recherche de L’Institut Universitaire En Santé Mentale de MontréalMontrealCanada
  6. 6.Hôpital Rivière-Des-PrairiesMontrealCanada
  7. 7.Programme Troubles Du Spectre Autistique, Centre D’excellence En Troubles Envahissants Du Développement de L’Université de MontréalHôpital Rivière-Des-PrairiesMontrealCanada

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