Visual Processing 'Hinders Ability' To Read Body Language: Autism Study
With around half a million people in the UK affected by autism, the Durham University study suggests visual processing problems could be contributing to their day-to-day difficulties with social interaction.
The research showed that adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) found it difficult to identify emotions, such as anger or happiness, from short video clips of body movements without seeing faces or hearing sound.
Those adults who struggled most with this task also performed poorly when asked to detect the direction in which a group of dots moved coherently on a screen, thought to be due to visual processing problems.
People with autism often have difficulty in attributing mental states to others and this is thought to be one of the main causes of their struggle to know how other people feel. The Durham study, published in the academic journal Neuropsychologia, suggests visual processing problems may also be a contributing factor.