Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 49, Issue 12, pp 5009–5022 | Cite as

Differences in the Late Positive Potential and P300 to Emotional Faces in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Cara M. KeiferEmail author
  • Kathryn M. Hauschild
  • Brady D. Nelson
  • Greg Hajcak
  • Matthew D. LernerEmail author
Original Paper


Despite evidence suggesting differences in early event-related potential (ERP) responses to social emotional stimuli, little is known about later stage ERP contributions to social emotional processing in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Adults with and without ASD completed a facial emotion recognition task involving stimuli that varied by emotional intensity while electroencephalograms were recorded. Principal components analysis was used to examine P300 and late positive potential (LPP) modulation by emotional intensity. Results indicated that greater ASD symptomatology evinced heightened P300 to high relative to low intensity faces, then heightened LPP to low relative to high intensity faces. Findings suggest that adults with greater ASD symptomatology may demonstrate a lag in engagement in elaborative processing of low intensity faces.


Autism spectrum disorder ERP LPP P300 Emotion processing Social cognition 



This work was supported by the Alan Alda Fund for Communication.

Author Contributions

All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by all authors. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


This study was funded by the Alan Alda Fund for Communication.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Cara Keifer, Kathryn Hauschild, Brady Nelson, Greg Hajcak, and Matthew Lerner declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in the studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in this study.

Supplementary material

10803_2019_4207_MOESM1_ESM.docx (200 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 199 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyStony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical Sciences and PsychologyFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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