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The importance of the eye area in face identification abilities and visual search strategies in persons with Asperger syndrome
Jonköping University.
Royal Institute of Technology.
Royal Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Rehabilitation Medicine . Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Paediatric Habilitation Community Service.
2010 (English)In: RESEARCH IN AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS, ISSN 1750-9467, Vol. 4, no 4, 724-730 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Partly claimed to explain social difficulties observed in people with Asperger syndrome, face identification and visual search strategies become important. Previous research findings are, however, disparate. In order to explore face identification abilities and visual search strategies, with special focus on the importance of the eye area, 24 adults with Asperger syndrome and matched controls viewed puzzle pieced photos of faces, in order to identify them as one of three intact photos of persons. Every second puzzle pieced photo had the eyes distorted. Fixation patterns were measured by an eye tracker. Adults with Asperger syndrome had greater difficulties in identifying faces than controls. However, the entire face identification superiority in controls was found in the condition when the eyes were distorted supporting that adults with Aspergers syndrome do use the eye region to a great extent in face identification. The visual search strategies in controls were more effective and relied on the use of the face information triangle, i.e. the two eyes and the mouth, while adults with Asperger syndrome had more fixations on other parts of the face, both when obtaining information and during the identification part, suggesting a less effective use of the face information triangle.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Science B. V., Amsterdam , 2010. Vol. 4, no 4, 724-730 p.
Keyword [en]
Eye tracking, Face information triangle, Face recognition, Fixation durations, Fixation patterns, Social development
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-58526DOI: 10.1016/j.rasd.2010.01.011ISI: 000280343500021OAI: diva2:343408
Available from: 2010-08-13 Created: 2010-08-13 Last updated: 2010-08-13

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Falkmer, Torbjörn
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Rehabilitation Medicine Faculty of Health SciencesPaediatric Habilitation Community Service
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