Featural and Holistic Face Processing in Individuals With Autism

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Zervos, Ashley E.
thesis / dissertation description
Individuals with autism have been found to have difficulty in recognizing faces. It has been suggested that this may stem from deficiencies in holistic face processing. This study attempted to determine the processes individuals with autism use in face recognition. Participants with and without autism were shown pictures of human faces divided into 4 sets designed to isolate holistic and featural processing. The correct answers on the 4 sets were compared for the participants with and without autism. Evidence was found that the participants without autism employed a holistic method of processing, while the participants with autism seemed to be impaired in this type of processing. Evidence was also found that the participants with autism may use a more feature based processing strategy.