-Please Draw Me a Face…- Atypical Face Mental Concept in AutismReport as inadecuate

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Autism is a severe neurodevelopmentaldisorder characterized by early manifestations of social difficulties andatypical sensory-based behaviors. As faces are essential for socialinteraction, they have been widely investigated in autism, revealingdisruptions in face processing. Cognitive theories argue that people withautism process the world differently, showing a processing bias for localinformation. However, the literature currently neglects the mentalrepresentation of faces, or face concept, in people with ASD. The current studysought to establish how young children with ASD -see- a human face. A keyquestion is whether this face concept is a function of cognitive style and-orsensory impairment. By comparing simple face drawings in young children withASD, with those of deaf children and controls, we highlight an atypical faceconcept in ASD that does not show, however, global processing deficits: facedrawing presents a preserved overall configuration. The atypical face drawingsin children with ASD showed similarities with those of deaf children: eyes werenot an essential feature, whereas a marked interest for ears and non-facialexternal features accessories, body parts was shown. These findings suggestthat the face mental concept in ASD may be impacted by sensory processingdeficits.


Autism, Face Representation, Drawing, Sensory Abnormalities, Cognitive Style

Cite this paper

Meaux, E. , Bakhos, D. , Bonnet-Brilhault, F. , Gillet, P. , Lescanne, E. , Barthélémy, C. & Batty, M. 2014. -Please Draw Me a Face…- Atypical Face Mental Concept in Autism. Psychology, 5, 1392-1403. doi: 10.4236-psych.2014.511150.

Author: Emilie Meaux, David Bakhos, Frédérique Bonnet-Brilhault, Patrice Gillet, Emmanuel Lescanne, Catherine Barthélémy, Magali Batt

Source: http://www.scirp.org/


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