Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) exhibit difficulties in their comprehension of others’ emotions. According to a variety of experimental procedures, many of them can be classified into two types according to the modality of their stimuli and responses. These are intramodal (visual stimulus–visual stimulus) and cross-modal (auditory stimulus–visual stimulus) matching. Previous studies tested both intramodal and cross-modal matching only in adolescents with ASD, although young children with ASD have also been found to have difficulties with cross-modal matching but not intramodal matching. The purpose of this study was to compare the intramodal and cross-modal matching of emotional expression in young children with ASD and typically developing (TD) children. Ten children with ASD aged 4–8 and 22 developmental age (DA)-matched TD children aged 3–6 participated in this study. Pictures of facial expressions were used as visual stimuli, and affective prosodies were used as auditory stimuli. The results showed that the children with ASD were less accurate than the TD children in cross-modal matching but equally accurate on intramodal matching. These findings are discussed along with the modality of stimuli and responses, and the ages of the participants.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.