Differences Between Autistic and Non-Autistic Adults in the Recognition of Anger from Facial Motion Remain after Controlling for Alexithymia

Connor T Keating*, Dagmar S Fraser, Sophie Sowden, Jennifer L Cook

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
163 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

To date, studies have not established whether autistic and non-autistic individuals differ in emotion recognition from facial motion cues when matched in terms of alexithymia. Here, autistic and non-autistic adults (N = 60) matched on age, gender, non-verbal reasoning ability and alexithymia, completed an emotion recognition task, which employed dynamic point light displays of emotional facial expressions manipulated in terms of speed and spatial exaggeration. Autistic participants exhibited significantly lower accuracy for angry, but not happy or sad, facial motion with unmanipulated speed and spatial exaggeration. Autistic, and not alexithymic, traits were predictive of accuracy for angry facial motion with unmanipulated speed and spatial exaggeration. Alexithymic traits, in contrast, were predictive of the magnitude of both correct and incorrect emotion ratings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1855-1871
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume52
Issue number4
Early online date28 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Alexithymia
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Emotion recognition
  • Facial expression
  • Movement kinematics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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