Look Into My Eyes

In the past many studies have been conducted on children with autism and social disorders such as bipolar disorder and mood dysregulation.  It has been well documented that children with these disorders have problems identifying facial expressions of emotion but little has been know of why.

New research has discovered why children with these social disorders have difficulty in recognizing and processing facial expressions of emotions such as anger, sadness and happiness.  The findings were recently revealed at the Society for Neuroscience; and, according to the examiner.com and US News Health, they suggest that it is the lack of eye contact that triggers children’s  inability to correctly recognize faces and facial expressions.

Pilyoung Kim from the National Institute of Mental Health found that children with social disorders such as bipolar focus more on the nose and mouth region of a person’s face rather than the eyes, which is the focus of their healthy counterparts.  Kim suggests that treatment programs that get children to focus on the eyes  to identify emotions would be most beneficial.

In a previous blog “Virtual Emotions and Autism“, we reported that new technology was being developed via video games to help children with social disorders such as these to recognize facial expressions of emotion.  The ability to recognize or not recognize facial expressions of emotion affects a person’s ability to interact socially to the world around them.

“If such training helps children to process the emotional information in the world more accurately, that may in turn increase their ability to regulate their emotional reactions to social situations,” purports Kim.

2 responses to “Look Into My Eyes”

  1. This is interesting to me because as a child I was highly teased. I believe it was because I was emotionally sensitive and stood out as different because of it.

    When one is teased, they often look down or away to avoid conflict and I suspect shy and teased children do this a lot. It could arrest social development. It all seems interrelated, interestingly. Great blog, Dr. Matsumoto!

  2. Thank you for your personal insight on the subject matter Eyes for Lies. The eyes are revealing in many ways. It is very interesting.

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