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Instructions to mimic improve facial emotion recognition in people with sub-clinical autism traits

Lewis, Michael Bevan and Dunn, Emily 2017. Instructions to mimic improve facial emotion recognition in people with sub-clinical autism traits. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 70 (11) , pp. 2357-2370. 10.1080/17470218.2016.1238950

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People tend to mimic the facial expression of others. It has been suggested that this helps provide social glue between affiliated people but it could also aid recognition of emotions through embodied cognition. The degree of facial mimicry, however, varies between individuals and is limited in people with autism spectrum conditions (ASC). The present study sought to investigate the effect of promoting facial mimicry during a facial-emotion-recognition test. In two experiments, participants without an ASC diagnosis had their autism quotient (AQ) measured. Following a baseline test, they did an emotion-recognition test again but half of the participants were asked to mimic the target face they saw prior to making their responses. Mimicry improved emotion recognition and further analysis revealed that the largest improvement was for participants who had higher scores on the autism traits. In fact, recognition performance was best overall for people who had high AQ scores but also received the instruction to mimic. Implications for people with ASC are explored

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Autism spectrum, Embodied cognition, Emotional expression recognition, Facial feedback, Facial mimicry
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0033-555X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 September 2016
Date of Acceptance: 9 September 2016
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2019 04:51

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