Unfamiliar Face Recognition in Relatively Able Autistic Children


Requests for reprints to: Dr Jill Boucher, Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S10 2TN, U.K.


Abstract— Two experiments were carried out assessing autistic children's recognition, discrimination, and fixation of unfamiliar faces and unfamiliar buildings. The experiments showed that (i) unfamiliar face recognition is impaired relative to normal peers, non-verbal ability matched and verbal ability matched controls. Relative to verbal ability matched controls (ii) recognition of buildings is normal; (iii) there is an enhanced discrepancy between face discrimination and buildings discrimination, in favour of buildings; and (iv) fixation is normal. Analysis of the results suggests that impaired face recognition does not result from impaired attention or discrimination