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October 2021

Psychophysiological responsiveness to the distress of others in children with autism

Journal/Book: Pers Indiv Differ. 1999; 26: the Boulevard Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford Ox5 1GB, England. Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd. 477-485.

Abstract: This study investigates the psychophysiological responsiveness of children with autism and comparison groups to distress cues, threatening and neutral stimuli. 20 children with autism, 20 children with moderate learning difficulty and 20 normal developing children were shown slides of these three types of stimuli and their electrodermal responses were recorded. The children with autism showed appropriate electrodermal responses to the distress cues. However, and surprisingly, the children with autism were hyporesponsive to the threatening stimuli. The results are interpreted with reference to the violence inhibition mechanism model (Blair, 1995) and possible frontal lobe dysfunction in autism.

Note: Article Blair RJR, Univ Coll London, Dept Psychol, Gower St, London WC1H 6BT, ENGLAND

Keyword(s): autism; empathy; distress; PERCEPTION; EMOTION; PSYCHOPATH; RESPONSES; MORALITY; EMPATHY; STIMULI; PEOPLE; FACES


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