Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 7, pp 1652–1661 | Cite as

Evidence for Impaired Verbal Identification But Intact Nonverbal Recognition of Fearful Body Postures in Asperger’s Syndrome

  • John P. Doody
  • Peter Bull
Original Paper


While most studies of emotion recognition in Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) have focused solely on the verbal decoding of affective states, the current research employed the novel technique of using both nonverbal matching and verbal labeling tasks to examine the decoding of emotional body postures and facial expressions. AS participants performed as accurately as controls at matching fear body postures, but were significantly less accurate than controls verbally identifying these same stimuli. This profile arguably indicates that that while the AS participants were aware that the fear body posture stimuli represented a distinct emotion, they were unsure as to which specific emotion. In addition, the AS participants took significantly longer than the controls to respond to anger body posture stimuli on a matching task. However, in contrast to previous studies, AS and control participants did not differ significantly in their responses to facial expression stimuli, in terms of either accuracy or response times.


Asperger’s Autism Body posture Facial expression Emotion 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of YorkYorkUK

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