Independent measurement of face perception, face matching, and face memory reveals impairments in face perception and memory, but not matching, in autism.
Stantić M., Brown K., Ichijo E., Pounder Z., Catmur C., Bird G.
Multiple psychological processes are required in order for a face to be recognised from memory. However, when testing face memory using tasks such as the Cambridge Face Memory Task (CFMT), it is rare for studies to attempt to account for individual differences in face perception and face matching in order to isolate variance in face memory specifically. In Study 1, the Oxford Face Matching Test (OFMT) was used to assess face matching and face perception in a large sample of participants (N = 1,112). Results revealed independent contributions of face perception and matching to CFMT performance, and these results replicated with the Glasgow Face Matching Test. In Study 2, the same procedure was used to test face perception, face matching and face memory in a group of 57 autistic adults and a matched neurotypical control group. Results revealed impaired face perception and memory in the individuals with autism, but intact face matching. Face perception may therefore act as a potential intervention target for individuals with autism who exhibit face recognition impairments.