Facial identity recognition

A huge amount of information about who another individual is (knowing whether we have met them before, their name etc.) comes from their face. All faces are unique, but share a very similar overall structure, so distinguishing them from each other can be difficult. Evidence suggests that some autistic individuals use different face processing styles to neurotypical individuals, for example focusing on specific parts of the face, rather than processing the face ‘as a whole’. This area of research investigates how autism affects how unfamiliar and familiar faces are processed, as well as how autistic individuals learn faces (i.e. converting them from being unfamiliar’ to ‘familiar’).