Facial expression production and recognition in autism spectrum disorders: a shifting landscape

Connor Tom Keating, Jennifer Louise Cook*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
440 Downloads (Pure)


Social "difficulties" associated with ASD may be a product of neurotypical-autistic differences in emotion expression and recognition. Research suggests that neurotypical and autistic individuals exhibit expressive differences, with autistic individuals displaying less frequent expressions that are rated lower in quality by non-autistic raters. Autistic individuals have difficulties recognizing neurotypical facial expressions; neurotypical individuals have difficulties recognizing autistic expressions. However, findings are mixed. Task-related factors (e.g., intensity of stimuli) and participant characteristics (e.g., age, IQ, comorbid diagnoses) may contribute to the mixed findings. The authors conclude by highlighting important areas for future research and the clinical implications of the discussed findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-571
Number of pages15
JournalChild and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America
Issue number3
Early online date9 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Facial expression
  • Emotion recognition
  • Emotion expression
  • Interaction
  • Alexithymia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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