Page last updated at 14:59 GMT, Sunday, 22 November 2009

Study looks at facial expressions

Generic three girls
The study is expected to involve 96 children aged five to 16

Researchers in Oxford are beginning a study to find out how children "read" people's faces and expressions.

The project also aims to learn whether there are differences in the way autistic children recognise faces.

Psychologists in the Oxford Autism Research Group are using a technique called magnetoencephalography (MEG) to map brain activity in children.

The reactions of youngsters aged five to 16 will be recorded as they are shown different images.

Dr Jennifer Swettenham, who is leading the study, said: "Faces are really very similar in their basic features, but we are very good at recognising different faces instantly.

"The brain has to be very specialised to be able to do this quickly and accurately.

"We hope this research will help us understand more about autism spectrum disorder and about brain development."

About 30 children are already taking part in the study, which is expected to involve 96 youngsters.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Memory test 'spots pre-dementia'
03 Nov 09 |  Health
Facial expressions 'not global'
14 Aug 09 |  Science & Environment

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific