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Autism and emotions

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  1. Introduction
  2. The primary deficit and inability
  3. Studies of emotional recognition
  4. The assumption of the development of perceptual discrimination
    1. The emotion recognition errors
    2. The point of reference
    3. The fundamental question
    4. The poor perception of emotion in autism
    5. The recognition task of emotional expressions
  5. Conclusion

Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by impairment that includes verbal and nonverbal challenges and difficulties in social interactions. In 1943, Kanner accumulated data showing the relationship between emotional deficits and autism. This data was considered important enough to be taken into account. Subsequently, in 1990 Hobson proposed the idea that the origin of the syndrome may be defined in terms of an inability to interact emotionally with other people.

[...] This proves that the poor perception of emotion in autism is due to visual deficits rather than a social gap and thus consolidates the hypothesis of the development of perceptual discrimination. This means that it is possible that the difficulty that people with autism have to deal with respect to emotional expression itself may be due to a more general difficulty in performing the facial mobility that the expression of these emotions requires. This inference calls into question the model of Hobson. [...]


[...] They wanted to know whether the results he obtained could actually be attributed to an emotional deficit or whether they were due to the fact that emotions develop more slowly for children with autism than for normal children. Research suggests that emotional capacity takes four years to develop in children with autism while normal children have it from the outset. However, a thorough study with older children and adolescents would be needed to confirm this hypothesis. Their studies have also shown that autistic children are only able express half the emotions that are expressed by their normal counterparts. [...]

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