Psychophysiological responsiveness to the distress ofothers in children with autism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

122 Scopus citations


This study investigates the psychophysiological responsiveness of children with autismand comparison groups to distress cues, threatening and neutral stimuli. 20 children with autism,20 children with moderate learning difficulty and 20 normal developing children were shownslides of these three types of stimuli and their electrodermal responses were recorded. Thechildren with autism showed appropriate electrodermal responses to the distress cues. However,and surprisingly, the children with autism were hyporesponsive to the threatening stimuli. Theresults are interpreted with reference to the violence inhibition mechanism model () and possible frontal lobe dysfunction in autism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-485
Number of pages9
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1999



  • Autism
  • Distress
  • Empathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this