The anger superiority effect in children with and without autism


In the face recognition research, it is well known that angry faces are detected more quickly than happy or neutral faces because of the attention-getting property provided with such threatening stimuli. This rapid processing to the threat, usually referred to as "the anger superiority effect", is thought to be automatic and inherent. Here, we examined the angry superiority effect in children with and without autism spectrum disorders (ASD) using visual search paradigm. Results revealed that the effect of emotion is correlated with age in children with ASD, but not in typically developing children. In addition, children with ASD under 9 years did not show the anger superiority effect whereas it was confirmed in typically developing children of the same age and even in younger ages. Children with ASD would be delayed for acquisition of those cognitive effects, which might be related to their delay of acquisition of variable social skills.

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