Navigation Links
Children with autism don't adapt as readily to unfamiliar faces
Date:8/30/2007

The findings, from a study conducted by researchers at the Universities of Bristol, Florence, and Western Australia, might help to explain some of the core social deficits associated with the disorder.

The faces we see in the world seem to be unconsciously coded in the brain as points in a face-space, said Elizabeth Pellicano of the University of Bristol. In the middle of that space is the average, or most typical, face, with more distinctive faces lying toward the periphery. Those more distinctive faces are easier to recognize than ones that are closer to average.

When people with normal abilities see a face, their brains automatically locate this new face in face-space on the basis of its deviations from the averageperhaps the face has bushier eyebrows, for example, or a greater distance between the nose and mouth. "The really neat bit is that the precise characteristics of what constitutes an average face are continuously updated based on our experiences in looking at other people," Pellicano explained.

Evidence of that flexibility stems from a phenomenon known as the face identity aftereffect, in which looking at a particular face even briefly biases perception toward people who have the opposite identity, she added. Upon seeing a person with thicker-than-average lips, the observers idea of the typical face accordingly develops somewhat plumper lips. As a result, thinner-lipped people become more distinctive than they would have been before because their lips now differ more from the norm. In practice, such shifting of facial perception occurs for all aspects of a face simultaneously, not just any particular feature.

The new study finds that children with autism dont experience the face identity aftereffect to the same degree that normal children do. In the study, kids were first introduced to two faces, those of Dan and Jim, each of whom they were told were team captains. They were then shown faces that looked like Dan or Jim to varying degrees. Those other faces were created with a computer so that the two faces gradually morphed with the mathematically calculated average face.

The kids with autism were just as able to distinguish between faces belonging to Dans team versus Jims "team," researchers found. The children were then shown computer-generated faces representing characteristics that were the opposite of those belonging to either Dan or Jim. After seeing opposite faces, typical kids suddenly found it much easier to place Dan-like or Jim-like faces on their rightful team. But the improvement in recognition was much smaller for children with autism.

The findings suggest that autistic children don't update their perceptions in the way typically developing children do. "Since faces are important for interpersonal communication, these adaptive difficulties could help explain some of the social problems that confront people with autism," Pellicano said.


'/>"/>
Contact: Nancy Wampler
nwampler@cell.com
617-386-2121
Cell Press
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Childrens taste sensitivity and food choices influenced by taste gene
2. $5.1 billion would save 6 million children
3. Transgenic goats milk offers hope for tackling childrens intestinal disease
4. Genetically engineered animals help in scientific research that may benefit children
5. Genes linked to treatment resistance in children with leukemia
6. Customized gene chip provides rapid detection of genetic changes in childrens cancer
7. Zinc supplements safe for HIV-infected children
8. Clinical trial to test stem cell approach for children with brain injury
9. Children overprescribed antibiotics for sore throat
10. UCLA imaging study of children with autism finds broken mirror neuron system
11. Environmental tobacco smoke linked to behavior problems in children and pre-teens
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/16/2016)... , Nov. 16, 2016 Sensory Inc ... and security for consumer electronics, and VeriTran ... and retail industry, today announced a global partnership ... way to authenticate users of mobile banking and ... TrulySecure™ software which requires no specialized biometric ...
(Date:11/14/2016)... , Nov. 14, 2016  Based on ... market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes FST Biometrics ... Award for Visionary Innovation Leadership. FST Biometrics ... biometric identification market by pioneering In Motion ... for instant, seamless, and non-invasive verification. This ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... -- On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ... for the Biometric Exit Program. The Request for Information ... explains that CBP intends to add biometrics to confirm ... States , in order to deter visa overstays, ... Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382209LOGO ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... KBioBox llc announced today the ... KbioBox developed a sophisticated “3 click” gene dditing off target analysis program and ... website, https://www.kbiobox.com/ and powered by the company’s proprietary BioEngine. Scientists, ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Ames, Iowa (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... of asynchronous approvals for biotech crops. The authors focus on the economic effects in ... the global approval of new biotech crops and the resultant risk of low level ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  HedgePath Pharmaceuticals, ... that discovers, develops and plans to commercialize innovative ... shares of common stock were approved for trading ... begin trading on the OTCQX, effective today, under ... for the OTCQX market, companies must meet high ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... to fuel Philadelphia,s innovative digital ... Southeastern Pennsylvania (" Ben Franklin "); Independence ... Cross; and Safeguard Scientifics ("Safeguard") (NYSE: SFE ... funding initiative over a four year period to grow ... burgeoning economic vitality in digital health, Ben Franklin ...
Breaking Biology Technology: