Electrophysiological Responses to Emotional Facial Expressions in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder: a Systematic Review
- 89 Downloads
Studies on processing of emotional faces in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have shown mixed findings. The goal of this systematic review was to investigate brain electrical responses to emotional facial expressions in individuals with ASD. We conducted a literature search of nine databases and grey literature sources up to Jan 2017, resulting in 943 studies. Eleven studies met inclusion criteria, with quality assessments varying from three to six out of 10. This systematic review demonstrates that individuals with ASD show a lack of sensitivity to different emotional expressions, especially fear, compared to their peers. Atypical brain responses in processing emotional faces may reflect the abnormalities in visual perception and information processing that are present early in life.
KeywordsEEG Facial expressions Autism spectrum disorder Systematic review
We would like to express our thanks to librarian Charlotte Beck who assisted in developing our search.
This study was not funded by any sources or agencies.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Dr. Zwicker is funded by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program, BC Children’s Hospital, Sunny Hill Foundation, and Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Dr. Zwicker has also received speaker honoraria from McGill University, University of Montreal, University of Toronto, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013) The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM 5. bookpointUS.Google Scholar
- Baio, J. (2012). Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders: autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, 14 sites, United States, 2008. Morbidity and mortality weekly report. Surveillance summaries. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 61(3).Google Scholar
- Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Hill, J., Raste, Y., & Plumb, I. (2001). The “reading the mind in the eyes” test revised version: a study with normal adults, and adults with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 42(2), 241–251.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Dawson, G., Carver, L., Meltzoff, A. N., Panagiotides, H., McPartland, J., & Webb, S. J. (2002). Neural correlates of face and object recognition in young children with autism spectrum disorder, developmental delay, and typical development. Child Development, 73(3), 700–717.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Federico, R. R. (2011). A study on cerebral activity by means of combined EEG-fMRI in neuropsychological disorders in childhood.Google Scholar
- Fujita, T., Kamio, Y., Yamasaki, T., Yasumoto, S., Hirose, S., & Tobimatsu, S. (2013). Altered automatic face processing in individuals with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders: evidence from visual evoked potentials. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 7(6), 710–720.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Gross, E., El-Baz, A. S., Sokhadze, G. E., Sears, L., Casanova, M. F., & Sokhadze, E. M. (2012). Induced eeg gamma oscillation alignment improves differentiation between autism and ADHD group responses in a facial categorization task. Journal of Neurotherapy, 16(2), 78–91.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Happé, F., & Frith, U. (2006). The weak coherence account: Detail-focused cognitive style in autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36(1), 5–25.Google Scholar
- Kim, S. Y., Choi, U. S., Park, S. Y., Oh, S. H., Yoon, H. W., Koh, Y. J., ... & Lee, C. U. (2015). Abnormal activation of the social brain network in children with autism spectrum disorder: an FMRI study. Psychiatry Investigation, 12(1), 37–45.Google Scholar
- Modesti, P., Reboldi, G., Cappuccio, F., Agyemang, C., Remuzzi, G., Rapi, S., . . . ESH Working Group on CV Risk in Low Resource Settings. (2016). Panethnic differences in blood pressure in europe: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One, 11(1), e0147601.Google Scholar
- Nakahachi, T., Yamashita, K., Iwase, M., Ishigami, W., Tanaka, C., Toyonaga, K., … & Takeda, M. (2008). Disturbed holistic processing in autism spectrum disorders verified by two cognitive tasks requiring perception of complex visual stimuli. Psychiatry Research, 159(3), 330–338.Google Scholar
- Wagner, J. B., Hirsch, S. B., Vogel-Farley, V. K., Redcay, E., & Nelson, C. A. (2013). Eye-tracking, autonomic, and electrophysiological correlates of emotional face processing in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43(1), 188–199.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Wells, G., Shea, B., O’Connell, D., Peterson, J., Welch, V., Losos, M., & Tugwell, P. (2000). The Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS) for assessing the quality of nonrandomised studies in meta-analyses. http://www.ohri.ca/programs/clinical_epidemiology/oxford.asp.