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Selective Attention to Facial Emotion and Identity in Children With Autism: Evidence for Global Identity and Local Emotion


Address for correspondence and reprints: Yongning Song, Faculty of Human-Environment Studies, Kyushu University, 6-19-1 Hakozaki, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan. E-mail:


The present study sought to test the global-identity and local-emotion processing hypothesis in face perception by examining emotional interference in face perception in children with high-functioning autism/Asperger's syndrome. Participants judged either the expression or the identity of faces while identity/expression was either held constant or varied (Garner paradigm). The results revealed that emotional expressions interfered with identity processing in face perception for autism spectrum disorder individuals. Taken together with previous findings, our results suggest that emotion judgment mainly depends on local processing, while identity judgment mainly depends on global processing. Autism Res 2012, 5: 282–285. © 2012 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.