Mental retardation and developmental disorders: Edited by Nick BourasFacial emotion recognition in intellectual disabilitiesZaja, Rebecca H; Rojahn, JohannesAuthor Information George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA Correspondence to Johannes Rojahn, George Mason University, 10340 Democracy Lane, Ste. 202, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA Tel: +1 703 993 4241; fax: +1 240 235 7096; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Psychiatry: September 2008 - Volume 21 - Issue 5 - p 441-444 doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e328305e5fd Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review Interpreting facial emotion is a requisite skill that enables us to navigate our social environment. Autism spectrum disorder is characterized by shortcomings in socio-cognitive abilities in general, and in emotion recognition in particular, and much has been written on this subject. Less research, however, has been conducted on individuals with intellectual disabilities. This review discusses recent emotion recognition research in this population. Recent findings Facial emotion recognition research in individuals with intellectual disabilities can be divided into two broad categories: studies on the causes of emotion recognition deficits (i.e. primary deficits or secondary phenomena) and studies on the effects of emotion recognition deficits (behavioral implications). Recent research on causes has not yet produced definitive conclusions and current research on specific effects has been limited to aggression and self-reported anger. Summary Some evidence exists that individuals with intellectual disability of heterogeneous etiology (excluding autism) have facial affect recognition deficits that cannot be fully accounted for by cognitive–intellectual abilities. In addition, cognitive processing strategies and genetic syndrome-specific differences in facial affect recognition have been discovered but further research is needed. We found no evidence that emotion recognition deficits contribute to the emergence of later antisocial behavior. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.