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:4/5/2017)... 5, 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell Science ... a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the ... the first application of deep learning to create predictive ... lines and a growing suite of powerful tools. The ... and future publicly available resources created and shared by ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... --  EyeLock LLC , a leader of iris-based identity ... and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. Patent No. ... iris image with a face image acquired in sequence ... th issued patent. "The issuance ... multi-modal biometric capabilities that have recently come to market ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... 30, 2017 The research team of The ... (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae recovery ... of speed and accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, immigration ... ... A research team ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... We are proud to announce ... at our Dilworth, MN site. The inspection took place Monday, July 31st through ... part of a routine Bioresearch Monitoring Program (BIMO) with the USFDA wherein multiple ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) , ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... in 2017, celebrating 10 years of successes helping medical technology companies and inventors develop ... company to a renowned full-service national engineering firm with a portfolio of clients in ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... new family of 6” modular downlights designed to stay tightly sealed and perform ... areas where damp and wet location listings just aren't enough, such as: hospitals; ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... Yorba Linda, Ca (PRWEB) , ... August 14, ... ... allocated for poorly characterized and performing antibodies. Key researchers in the antibody community ... ensure proper characterization and consistency for antibodies in the laboratory. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: