Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 46, Issue 7, pp 2520–2525 | Cite as

Brief Report: Sensitivity of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to Face Appearance in Selective Trust

  • Pengli Li
  • Chunhua Zhang
  • Li Yi
Brief Report


The current study examined how children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) could selectively trust others based on three facial cues: the face race, attractiveness, and trustworthiness. In a computer-based hide-and-seek game, two face images, which differed significantly in one of the three facial cues, were presented as two cues for selective trust. Children had to selectively trust the own-race, attractive and trustworthy faces to get the prize. Our findings demonstrate an intact ability of selective trust based on face appearance in ASD compared to typical children: they could selectively trust the informant based on face race and attractiveness. Our results imply that despite their face recognition deficits, children with ASD are still sensitive to some aspects of face appearance.


Autism spectrum disorders Face appearance Selective trust Race Attractiveness Trustworthiness 



This work was supported by grants from National Natural Science Foundation of China (31571135, 31200779). The authors are grateful to Tianbi Li, ShuYuan Feng, Xiao Yu, the staff in Qingdao Elim School, Xingfuzhijia Kindergarten, Yilei Kindergarten, and Chigangyuan Kindergarten, for their generous assistance in completing the study.

Author Contributions

LY was responsible for designing and overseeing the experiment, and writing the manuscript. PL was responsible for designing and conducting the experiment, and drafting the manuscript. CZ was involved in data collection. All authors read and approved the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Qingdao Autism Research InstituteQingdaoChina
  3. 3.Department of Psychology and Beijing Key Laboratory of Behavior and Mental HealthPeking UniversityBeijingChina

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