Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published May 2007 | public
Journal Article

Abnormal Use of Facial Information in High-Functioning Autism


Altered visual exploration of faces likely contributes to social cognition deficits seen in autism. To investigate the relationship between face gaze and social cognition in autism, we measured both face gaze and how facial regions were actually used during emotion judgments from faces. Compared to IQ-matched healthy controls, nine high-functioning adults with autism failed to make use of information from the eye region of faces, instead relying primarily on information from the mouth. Face gaze accounted for the increased reliance on the mouth, and partially accounted for the deficit in using information from the eyes. These findings provide a novel quantitative assessment of how people with autism utilize information in faces when making social judgments.

Additional Information

© 2006 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Published online: 28 September 2006. The authors would like to thank the participants and their families for making this study possible, Dr Frédéric Gosselin for helpful advice in using the "Bubbles" method, and Dr Fulvia Castelli and anonymous reviewers for helpful comments. We gratefully acknowledge the support of NIMH STAART Center funding and a grant from the Cure Autism Now Foundation.

Additional details

August 22, 2023
October 24, 2023