The purpose of this paper is to investigate the face processing responses of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) using skin conductance response (SCR) patterns and to compare it with typically developed (TD) children.
Two experiments have been designed to analyze the effect of face processing. In the first experiment, learned non-face (objects) vs unknown face stimuli have been shown and in the second experiment, familiar vs unfamiliar face stimuli have been shown to ten ASD and ten TD children and SCR patterns have been recorded, analyzed and compared for both the groups.
It has been observed that children with ASD were able to differentiate faces out of learned non-face stimuli and their SCR patterns were similar as TD children in the first experiment. In the second experiment, children with ASD were unable to recognize familiar faces from unfamiliar faces but TD children could easily discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar faces as their SCR patterns were different from children with ASD.
The present study advocates that impairment in face identification exists in children with ASD. Hence, it can be concluded that in children with ASD face processing is present but they do not recognize familiar faces or it can be said that face familiarization effect is absent in children with ASD.
There are very few findings that used SCR signal as main analysis parameter for face processing in children with ASD, in most of the studies; Electroencephalography signal has been used as analysis parameter. Moreover, familiar and unfamiliar face processing with multiple stimuli used in present work adds novelty to the literature.