Autistic people outperform neurotypicals in a cartoon version of the Reading the Mind in the Eyes

LIAM CROSS, ANDREA PIOVESAN, GRAY ATHERTON

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
195 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Prior research suggests that while autistic people may demonstrate poorer facial emotion recognition when stimuli are human, these differences lessen when stimuli are anthropomorphic. To investigate this further, this work explores emotion recognition in autistic and neurotypical adults (n = 196). Groups were compared on a standard and a cartoon version of the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test. Results indicated that autistic individuals were not significantly different from neurotypicals on the standard version. However, autistic people outperformed neurotypicals on the cartoon version. The implications for these findings regarding emotion recognition deficits and the social motivation account of autism are discussed and support the view of socio-cognitive differences rather than deficits in this population. Lay Summary: The Reading the Mind in the Eyes test and a cartoon version were tested on autistic and neurotypical adults. Autistic adults were not significantly different on the original test compared to neurotypicals, but they outperformed neurotypical adults on the cartoon version.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1603-1608
Number of pages6
JournalAutism Research
Volume15
Issue number9
Early online date20 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022

Keywords

  • Reading the Mind in the Eyes
  • anthropomorphism
  • autism
  • cartoon
  • emotion recognition

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