We would like to acknowledge all the children, their parents and the teachers of Musashino Higashi Gakuen. We also thank Yura Kunihira, Tessei Kobayashi, Kikue Sakaguchi, and all other members of Hasegawa Lab for their support in testing.
The effect of spatial frequency and face inversion on facial expression processing in children with autism spectrum disorder†
Article first published online: 13 DEC 2012
© Japanese Psychological Association 2012
Japanese Psychological Research
Special Issue: Cognitive science approach to developmental disorders. Editor: Harumitsu Murohashi
Volume 55, Issue 2, pages 118–130, April 2013
How to Cite
Kikuchi, Y., Senju, A., Hasegawa, T., Tojo, Y. and Osanai, H. (2013), The effect of spatial frequency and face inversion on facial expression processing in children with autism spectrum disorder. Japanese Psychological Research, 55: 118–130. doi: 10.1111/jpr.12000
This study was supported by the 21st Century COE Program J05 “Center for Evolutionary Cognitive Sciences at the University of Tokyo” and Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B16330192) from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).
- Issue published online: 8 APR 2013
- Article first published online: 13 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Received: 28 DEC 2011
- autism spectrum disorder;
- facial expression;
- local processing;
- spatial frequencies;
- inversion effect
To investigate whether facial expression processing in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is based on local information of the stimuli, we prepared low spatial frequency (LSF) images with blurred facial features and high spatial frequency (HSF) images with rich facial features from broad (normal) spatial frequency (BSF) images. Eighteen children with ASD (mean age 11.9 years) and 19 typically developing (TD) children (mean age 11.4 years) matched on nonverbal IQ were presented these stimuli in upright and inverted orientations. The children with ASD had difficulty in processing facial expressions from the BSF and LSF images, but not from the HSF images. In addition, the BSF and HSF images elicited the inversion effect in the TD children, but not in the children with ASD. In contrast, the LSF images elicited the inversion effect in both groups of children. These results suggest that children with ASD are biased towards processing facial expression based on local information, even though their capacity to process facial expressions configurally is spared.