Impaired Recognition of Negative Facial Expressions is Partly Related to Facial Perception Deficits in Adolescents with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

Michael K. Yeung, Tsz L. Lee, Agnes S. Chan (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Accumulating studies have reported facial emotion recognition or facial perception impairments in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To clarify the specificity of the emotion recognition impairment, this study examined the relationships between facial emotion recognition and facial perception abilities in ASD. Twenty-two adolescents with high-functioning ASD (20 males) and 22 typically developing (TD) adolescents (16 males) aged 11–18 years undertook a facial emotion labeling task and a facial perception test. We found that adolescents with ASD had deficits in recognizing negative facial expressions, which correlated with both facial perception deficits and severity of social impairment. In addition, the emotion recognition deficits remained after adjusting for facial perception performance. Thus, our findings suggest an emotion-specific impairment in facial emotion recognition in ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1596-1606
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Facial emotion recognition
  • Facial perception
  • Unbiased hit rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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