Learning new faces in typically developing children and children on the autistic spectrum

C. Ellie Wilson, Romina Palermo, Jon Brock, A. Mike Burton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


As faces become familiar, recognition becomes easier but the style of processing also changes. Here, twenty-one typically developing (TD) children and twenty-one children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were familiarised with 6 identities over 3 days. Next, they completed a 4-alternative forced-choice matching test in which targets were the 6 familiarised faces and 6 unfamiliar faces. The TD group showed a significant advantage for familiarised faces when matching whole faces and both internal and external facial regions. The ASD group showed similar familiarisation effects for whole and external faces, but not for internal regions. The ASD group was also impaired at matching eyes and mouths of familiarised faces. Results suggest the process of acquiring familiarity with faces differs from ASD and TD children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1645-1658
Number of pages14
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • unfamiliar faces
  • external features
  • feature saliency
  • familiar face
  • recognition
  • disorders
  • perception
  • individuals
  • fixation
  • eye


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