Comparative analysis of emotional facial expression recognition and empathy in children with prader-willi syndrome and autism spectrum disorder

Ane Perosanz, Oscar Martínez, Patricia Espinosa-Blanco, Irune García, Mohammad Al-Rashaida, Juan Francisco López-Paz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder that is often comorbid with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Due to the close association between these two conditions, and recognizing that Theory of Mind (ToM) is related to social behaviors in ASD, there is a growing interest in studying the reciprocity of social communication between these two groups. Method: The primary objective of this study was to compare how children (n = 45) with PWS (n = 15), ASD (n = 15), and a control group (n = 15) respond to emotion recognition of facial expressions and empathy, which are both concepts related to ToM. The study utilized two tools named FEEL and Deusto-e-Motion 1.0. We also evaluated the Working Memory index of the WISC-IV scale, the Social Perception domain of the NEPSY-II battery, and the SCQ in both clinical groups. Results: Our findings suggest that individuals with PWS exhibit lower accuracy in recognizing facial expressions and empathy compared to the control group. Both clinical groups exhibited a delayed reaction time compared to the control group. Children with PWS display difficulties in recognizing emotions of disgust and surprise. In terms of cognitive empathy, children with PWS showed a greater inclination to respond to disgust as compared to children with ASD. Conclusions: This study represents the initial stage in comprehending the emotional and empathetic abilities of children with PWS and ASD. The findings can provide valuable insights for developing future interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number94
JournalBMC psychology
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2024

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Empathy
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome
  • Recognition of emotional facial expression
  • Theory of mind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Comparative analysis of emotional facial expression recognition and empathy in children with prader-willi syndrome and autism spectrum disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this