SATO Wataru Laboratory

The specific impairment of fearful expression recognition and its atypical development in pervasive developmental disorder

(Uono, Sato, & Toichi: Soc Neurosci)

Although several studies have examined facial expression recognition in pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) including autism and Asperger's disorder, results have been inconsistent.

We investigated the relationship between facial expression recognition and age, face recognition, and symptom severity.
Subjects were 28 individuals with mild PDD subtypes and 28 age- and gender-matched controls.

Among six emotions, fearful expression recognition was specifically impaired in PDD subjects.
Age had positive effects on fearful expression recognition directly and indirectly via the development of face recognition in controls but not in PDD subjects.
Furthermore, fearful expression recognition was related to the severity of PDD symptoms.

We conclude that individuals with PDD show an atypical development of facial expression recognition.
Moreover, impaired fearful expression recognition is closely related to social dysfunction.

Return to Recent Research.
Return to Main Menu.