PsyPost - Facial motion a clue to difficulties in social interaction among autistic adults

BY BRUNEL UNIVERSITY ON NOVEMBER 13, 2014 MENTAL HEALTH

People on the autistic spectrum may struggle to recognise social cues, unfamiliar people or even someone’s gender because of an inability to interpret changing facial expressions, new research has found.

According to the study by academics at Brunel University London, adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), though able to recognise static faces, struggle with tasks that require them to discriminate between sequences of facial motion or to use facial motion as a cue to identity.

The research supports previous evidence to suggest that impairments in perceiving biological motion more generally may underlie difficulties in social interaction. This is in contrast to suggestions that poor attention skills are at the root of the problem.