Alterations in Rapid Social Evaluations in Individuals with High Autism Traits Academic Article uri icon


  • Typically developing adults with low and high Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) scores made rapid social evaluations of neutral faces when these were primed by briefly presented emotional faces. High AQ participants rated neutral faces as more threatening than low AQ participants, regardless of the prime condition. Both groups rated target neutral faces as more threatening with fearful compared with neutral primes, while neither group demonstrated an effect of happy primes on the ratings of┬áneutral target faces. These results demonstrate subtle anomalies in rapid visual processing of emotional faces across the broader autism spectrum. They suggest that higher autism traits may be associated with a generalized threat bias in rapid social evaluations.

publication date

  • January 1, 2021