Table of Contents
ISRN Neurology
Volume 2012, Article ID 298098, 6 pages
Research Article

Coloured Filters Enhance the Visual Perception of Social Cues in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

1Department of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
2Department of Psychology, Anglia Ruskin University, East Road, Cambridge CB1 1PT, UK
3Department of Psychology, University of Essex, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ, UK

Received 2 November 2011; Accepted 13 December 2011

Academic Editors: A. Mamelak and P. G. Simos

Copyright © 2012 Amanda K. Ludlow et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Coloured filters have been found to reduce visual distortion of text in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We investigated the effect of the overlays on the “mind in the eye” task in children with ASD and controls matched for age, gender, and nonverbal IQ. Children were shown photographs of the periocular region of various faces and were asked to judge which emotion was being expressed in the eyes. In children with ASD, the perception of the emotion was significantly improved when the photograph was covered by a coloured overlay. The improvement was significantly greater than in the controls, who showed no significant effect of the overlay. A perceptual impairment may contribute to the social difficulties shown in ASD.