Facial dimorphism in Autistic Quotient scores

Scott, N. J., Jones, A. L., Kramer, R. S. S. and Ward, R. (2015) Facial dimorphism in Autistic Quotient scores. Clinical Psychological Science, 3 (2). pp. 230-241. ISSN 2167-7026

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/2167702614534238

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


Baron-Cohen's extreme male brain theory proposes that autism results from elevated prenatal testosterone levels. In the present study, we assessed possible correlated effects of androgen exposure on adult morphology and, in particular, the development of facial features associated with masculinity. We created composite images capturing statistical regularities in facial appearance associated with high and low Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) scores. In three experiments, we assessed correlations between perceived facial masculinity and AQ scores. In Experiment 1, observers selected the high-AQ males as more masculine. We replicated this result in Experiment 2, using different photographs, composite-image methods, and observers. There was no association of masculinity and AQ scores for female faces in either study. In Experiment 3, we created high- and low-AQ male composites from the five AQ subscales. High-AQ images were rated more masculine on each of the subscales. We discuss these findings with respect to the organizational-activational hypothesis of testosterone activity during development.

Keywords:Autism, Face perception, Facial features, Gender bias
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
C Biological Sciences > C840 Clinical Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:29108
Deposited On:26 Nov 2017 12:22

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