Understanding autism
Understanding autism

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3.1 Recognising emotions

One stimulus for Baron-Cohen's new approach was some research suggesting that autistic people may struggle to understand other people’s emotions or feelings. In one experimental test known as ‘Reading the Mind in the Eyes’, participants looked at images such as the one below, and had to choose which of the emotions mentioned was being portrayed (Baron-Cohen et al., 2001). Autistic adults had more difficulty than control participants, and often made the wrong choice.

A image from the ‘Reading the Mind in the Eyes’ test.
Figure 5 Image from the ‘Reading the Mind in the Eyes’ test.

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