Emotion recognition from congruent and incongruent emotional expressions and situational cues in children with autism spectrum disorder.Autism. 2015 Apr; 19(3):375-9.A
In this research, the emotion recognition abilities of children with autism spectrum disorder and typically developing children were compared. When facial expressions and situational cues of emotion were congruent, accuracy in recognizing emotions was good for both children with autism spectrum disorder and typically developing children. When presented with facial expressions incongruent with situational cues, children with autism spectrum disorder relied more on facial cues than situational cues, whereas typically developing children relied more on situational cues. The exception was fear. When presented with incongruent information (i.e. a smiling boy surrounded by a swarm of bees), most children based their response on the situation and indicated that the boy felt scared. While the majority of typically developing children commented on the disparity between facial expressions and situational cues, children with autism spectrum disorder did not mention the conflicting cues. Although typically developing children were more accurate in recognizing emotion with situational cues, children with autism spectrum disorder were still adequate at identifying emotion from situational cues alone. These findings suggest that children with autism spectrum disorder show an understanding of simple emotions in prototypical situations, but may prefer facial expressions when facial expressions and situational cues are incongruent. Reasons for these findings are discussed.