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Assessing Children’s Performance on the Facial Emotion Recognition Task with Familiar and Unfamiliar Faces: An Autism Study

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Date Issued:
2017
Summary:
Studies exploring facial emotion recognition (FER) abilities in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) samples have yielded inconsistent results despite the widely-accepted finding that an impairment in emotion recognition is a core component of ASD. The current study aimed to determine if an FER task featuring both unfamiliar and familiar faces would highlight additional group differences between ASD children and typically developing (TD) children. We tested the two groups of 4- to 8-year-olds on this revised task, and also compared their resting-state brain activity using electroencephalogram (EEG) measurements. As hypothesized, the TD group had significantly higher overall emotion recognition percent scores. In addition, there was a significant interaction effect of group by familiarity, with the ASD group recognizing emotional expressions significantly better in familiar faces than in unfamiliar ones. This finding may be related to the preference of children with autism for people and situations which they are accustomed to. TD children did not demonstrate this pattern, as their recognition scores were approximately the same for familiar faces and unfamiliar ones. No significant group differences existed for EEG alpha power or EEG alpha asymmetry in frontal, central, temporal, parietal, or occipital brain regions. Also, neither of these EEG measurements were strongly correlated with the group FER performances. Further evidence is needed to assess the association between neurophysiological measurements and behavioral symptoms of ASD. The behavioral results of this study provide preliminary evidence that an FER task featuring both familiar and unfamiliar expressions produces a more optimal assessment of emotion recognition ability.
Title: Assessing Children’s Performance on the Facial Emotion Recognition Task with Familiar and Unfamiliar Faces: An Autism Study.
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Name(s): Shanok, Nathaniel, author
Jones, Nancy Aaron, Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Department of Psychology
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2017
Date Issued: 2017
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 85 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: Studies exploring facial emotion recognition (FER) abilities in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) samples have yielded inconsistent results despite the widely-accepted finding that an impairment in emotion recognition is a core component of ASD. The current study aimed to determine if an FER task featuring both unfamiliar and familiar faces would highlight additional group differences between ASD children and typically developing (TD) children. We tested the two groups of 4- to 8-year-olds on this revised task, and also compared their resting-state brain activity using electroencephalogram (EEG) measurements. As hypothesized, the TD group had significantly higher overall emotion recognition percent scores. In addition, there was a significant interaction effect of group by familiarity, with the ASD group recognizing emotional expressions significantly better in familiar faces than in unfamiliar ones. This finding may be related to the preference of children with autism for people and situations which they are accustomed to. TD children did not demonstrate this pattern, as their recognition scores were approximately the same for familiar faces and unfamiliar ones. No significant group differences existed for EEG alpha power or EEG alpha asymmetry in frontal, central, temporal, parietal, or occipital brain regions. Also, neither of these EEG measurements were strongly correlated with the group FER performances. Further evidence is needed to assess the association between neurophysiological measurements and behavioral symptoms of ASD. The behavioral results of this study provide preliminary evidence that an FER task featuring both familiar and unfamiliar expressions produces a more optimal assessment of emotion recognition ability.
Identifier: FA00004908 (IID)
Degree granted: Thesis (M.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2017.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Emotions in children.
Social skills in children.
Nonverbal communication.
Pattern recognition systems.
Face perception.
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Links: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00004908
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00004908
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.