The Effects of Face Expertise Training on the Behavioral Performance and Brain Activity of Adults with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders

Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (Impact Factor: 3.06). 04/2011; 42(2):278-93. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-011-1243-8
Source: PubMed


The effect of expertise training with faces was studied in adults with ASD who showed initial impairment in face recognition. Participants were randomly assigned to a computerized training program involving either faces or houses. Pre- and post-testing included standardized and experimental measures of behavior and event-related brain potentials (ERPs), as well as interviews after training. After training, all participants met behavioral criteria for expertise with the specific stimuli on which they received training. Scores on standardized measures improved after training for both groups, but only the face training group showed an increased face inversion effect behaviorally and electrophysiological changes to faces in the P100 component. These findings suggest that individuals with ASD can gain expertise in face processing through training.

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    • "Instead of verbal names, patterns (such as wavy lines in this example) were used to refer to identities of faces. From Faja et al. (2012). With permission from journal of autism and developmental disorders published by Springer (Domain 1), recognition of facial identity and emotion (Domain 2), and understanding faces in a social context (Domain 3) (Fig. 5). "
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