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Durham e-Theses
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A cross-cultural study of the development of face expertise in autism

DERGES, MICHAEL-JOHN,WILLIAM,THAY (2018) A cross-cultural study of the development of face expertise in autism. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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Atypicalities with face processing have been suggested to underlie some of the social impairments in Autism. These atypicalities are characterised by a lack of expertise with face processing and may provide insight into the development of this neurodevelopmental disorder. One way to probe face expertise is by testing the Own-Race Effect (ORE). Evidence (or lack thereof) of the ORE between children with and without autism can reveal fundamental information about the development of face perception in autism. Children with autism and typically developing children from the UK and Japan completed a two-forced choice alternative face recognition task across which contained Asian and Caucasian faces, in four different conditions (identity change, easy eyes, hard eyes, hard mouth). Attention to faces was measured during the task using eye-tracking. In terms of accuracy, there were cultural group differences (Japanese children more accurate, different pattern across conditions) but no developmental group differences - children with and without autism showed a typical ORE. There were cultural differences in face scanning during encoding and recognition - both UK groups showed a bias to eyes and mouths of own-race compared to other-race faces, whereas the opposite was found for the Japanese groups. Although culture has an influence on how children attend to faces, children with autism in Japan and the UK show a typical ORE. This has implications for theory around social development and face processing in autism.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Keywords:Autism; ASD; Face processing; Own-race effect; ORE; Cross-cultural
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Psychology, Department of
Thesis Date:2018
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:10 Jul 2018 15:46

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