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Examining the relationship between face processing and social interaction behavior in children with and without autism spectrum disorder.

Corbett BA, Newsom C, Key AP, Qualls LR, Edmiston EK - J Neurodev Disord (2014)

Bottom Line: However, the extent to which neuropsychological measures are associated with or predictive of real-world social behavior is unclear.Autism symptomology only predicted verbal exchange with peers.Impairment in facial memory is associated with reduced 'real-world' social interaction and more self-play, whereas higher performance in face memory predicts more cooperative play.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University, PMB 40, 230 Appleton Place, Nashville, TN 37203, USA ; Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development, Vanderbilt University, PMB 40, 230 Appleton Place, Nashville, TN 37203, USA ; Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University, PMB 40, 230 Appleton Place, Nashville, TN 37203, USA.

ABSTRACT

Background: Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show impairment in reciprocal social communication, which includes deficits in social cognition and behavior. Since social cognition and social behavior are considered to be interdependent, it is valuable to examine social processes on multiple levels of analysis. Neuropsychological measures of face processing often reveal deficits in social cognition in ASD including the ability to identify and remember facial information. However, the extent to which neuropsychological measures are associated with or predictive of real-world social behavior is unclear.

Methods: The study investigated 66 children (ASD 34, typically developing (TD) 32) using neuropsychological measures of face processing (identity, affect, and memory). Children also participated in a peer interaction paradigm, which allowed observation and coding of natural social interaction behaviors during play with peers (e.g., Self-Play, Cooperative Play, Verbal Bout). ANCOVA, regression, and correlation models analyzed between-group differences, the ability of neuropsychological measures to predict social behavior, and the strength of the associations.

Results: Between-group differences were shown on Memory for Faces Delayed and the peer interaction variables Self-Play and Verbal Bout. Regression models indicated that Memory for Faces Delayed predicted the amount of Self-Play, Equipment use alone, and Cooperative Play with peers on the playground. Autism symptomology only predicted verbal exchange with peers.

Conclusions: Face memory strongly predicts relevant social engagement patterns in both children with and without ASD. Impairment in facial memory is associated with reduced 'real-world' social interaction and more self-play, whereas higher performance in face memory predicts more cooperative play. Results highlight the strong connection between face memory and reciprocal social interaction, suggesting that improvement in one may benefit the other.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Scatterplot of associations between Memory for Faces Delayed and Cooperative Play in children with ASD and TD. The Y-axis reflects the percentage of time children with ASD (red circle) and TD (blue triangle) engaged in cooperative play with peers, whereas the X-axis reflects the scaled score from the Memory for Faces subtest. The regression lines show a positive correlation between the variables which is most pronounced in the ASD group.
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Figure 2: Scatterplot of associations between Memory for Faces Delayed and Cooperative Play in children with ASD and TD. The Y-axis reflects the percentage of time children with ASD (red circle) and TD (blue triangle) engaged in cooperative play with peers, whereas the X-axis reflects the scaled score from the Memory for Faces subtest. The regression lines show a positive correlation between the variables which is most pronounced in the ASD group.

Mentions: Correlations between the social neuropsychological and playground variables are presented in Table 4. Since diagnosis and IQ were not significant predictors of the association between memory for faces and most of the behavioral variables, the correlational analyses were conducted on the combined sample. The strength of the association ranges from relatively weak (Affect Recognition and Self-Play) to strong (Memory for Faces Delayed and Cooperative Play) (see Figure 2). As expected, there were strong correlations between the face measures, especially between face identification and memory. Additionally, several of the behavioral variables showed strong correlations, such as an inverse relationship between self-play and equipment play with a group. Exploratory partial correlations controlling for diagnosis continued to show significant (p < 0.01) strong correlations between Memory for Faces Delayed and Self-play r = −.35, Cooperative Play r = .38, and Equipment Play with Group r = .37.


Examining the relationship between face processing and social interaction behavior in children with and without autism spectrum disorder.

Corbett BA, Newsom C, Key AP, Qualls LR, Edmiston EK - J Neurodev Disord (2014)

Scatterplot of associations between Memory for Faces Delayed and Cooperative Play in children with ASD and TD. The Y-axis reflects the percentage of time children with ASD (red circle) and TD (blue triangle) engaged in cooperative play with peers, whereas the X-axis reflects the scaled score from the Memory for Faces subtest. The regression lines show a positive correlation between the variables which is most pronounced in the ASD group.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4150424&req=5

Figure 2: Scatterplot of associations between Memory for Faces Delayed and Cooperative Play in children with ASD and TD. The Y-axis reflects the percentage of time children with ASD (red circle) and TD (blue triangle) engaged in cooperative play with peers, whereas the X-axis reflects the scaled score from the Memory for Faces subtest. The regression lines show a positive correlation between the variables which is most pronounced in the ASD group.
Mentions: Correlations between the social neuropsychological and playground variables are presented in Table 4. Since diagnosis and IQ were not significant predictors of the association between memory for faces and most of the behavioral variables, the correlational analyses were conducted on the combined sample. The strength of the association ranges from relatively weak (Affect Recognition and Self-Play) to strong (Memory for Faces Delayed and Cooperative Play) (see Figure 2). As expected, there were strong correlations between the face measures, especially between face identification and memory. Additionally, several of the behavioral variables showed strong correlations, such as an inverse relationship between self-play and equipment play with a group. Exploratory partial correlations controlling for diagnosis continued to show significant (p < 0.01) strong correlations between Memory for Faces Delayed and Self-play r = −.35, Cooperative Play r = .38, and Equipment Play with Group r = .37.

Bottom Line: However, the extent to which neuropsychological measures are associated with or predictive of real-world social behavior is unclear.Autism symptomology only predicted verbal exchange with peers.Impairment in facial memory is associated with reduced 'real-world' social interaction and more self-play, whereas higher performance in face memory predicts more cooperative play.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University, PMB 40, 230 Appleton Place, Nashville, TN 37203, USA ; Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development, Vanderbilt University, PMB 40, 230 Appleton Place, Nashville, TN 37203, USA ; Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University, PMB 40, 230 Appleton Place, Nashville, TN 37203, USA.

ABSTRACT

Background: Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show impairment in reciprocal social communication, which includes deficits in social cognition and behavior. Since social cognition and social behavior are considered to be interdependent, it is valuable to examine social processes on multiple levels of analysis. Neuropsychological measures of face processing often reveal deficits in social cognition in ASD including the ability to identify and remember facial information. However, the extent to which neuropsychological measures are associated with or predictive of real-world social behavior is unclear.

Methods: The study investigated 66 children (ASD 34, typically developing (TD) 32) using neuropsychological measures of face processing (identity, affect, and memory). Children also participated in a peer interaction paradigm, which allowed observation and coding of natural social interaction behaviors during play with peers (e.g., Self-Play, Cooperative Play, Verbal Bout). ANCOVA, regression, and correlation models analyzed between-group differences, the ability of neuropsychological measures to predict social behavior, and the strength of the associations.

Results: Between-group differences were shown on Memory for Faces Delayed and the peer interaction variables Self-Play and Verbal Bout. Regression models indicated that Memory for Faces Delayed predicted the amount of Self-Play, Equipment use alone, and Cooperative Play with peers on the playground. Autism symptomology only predicted verbal exchange with peers.

Conclusions: Face memory strongly predicts relevant social engagement patterns in both children with and without ASD. Impairment in facial memory is associated with reduced 'real-world' social interaction and more self-play, whereas higher performance in face memory predicts more cooperative play. Results highlight the strong connection between face memory and reciprocal social interaction, suggesting that improvement in one may benefit the other.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus