Stability, Concurrent Validity, and Relationship to ASD Symptoms of the Cambridge-Mindreading Face-Voice Battery for Children in a Large Sample of High-Functioning Children with ASD

Poster Presentation
Saturday, May 4, 2019: 11:30 AM-1:30 PM
Room: 710 (Palais des congres de Montreal)
J. D. Rodgers, A. J. Booth, C. J. Rajnisz, J. Lodi-Smith, M. Thomeer and C. Lopata, Institute for Autism Research, Canisius College, Buffalo, NY

Significant heterogeneity of results has been found in studies of emotion recognition (facial and vocal) in high-functioning individuals with autism spectrum disorder (HFASD). Some studies identify a broader deficit across emotions, while others do not support a deficit. This may be related to inconsistent measurement tools (Harms et al., 2010; Lozier et al., 2014). Despite this inconsistency, emotion recognition has often been used as an outcome measure in trials of psychosocial interventions for children with HFASD (e.g. McMahon et al., 2013; Lopata et al., 2018).


The current study examined the properties of a carefully constructed measure of emotion recognition that uses dynamic facial stimuli (CAM-C Faces) and vocal stimuli (CAM-C Voices) with a range of emotional content, including both simple and complex emotions (Golan et al., 2015) in a large sample of children with HFASD. We predict the total correct, simple emotion items, and complex emotion items of the CAM-C Faces and CAM-C Voices will show: (1) high test-retest stability, (2) robust correlations with other measures of emotion recognition, and (3) a small but significant relationship with ASD symptoms (SRS-2).


Participants were drawn from multiple psychosocial intervention trials for children with HFASD. The total sample was 267 individuals (ages 6-12) with a diagnosis of ASD (91% Male; 93% Caucasian). Inclusion criteria also included WISC-IV short-form IQ >70 (VCI or PRI ≥80), and a CASL expressive or receptive language score >75. A majority of participants (96%) also had ADI-R scores confirming the diagnosis of ASD.

The following measures were assessed at screening and baseline of their respective intervention trials: Cambridge Mindreading Face-Voice Battery for Children (CAM-C); Diagnostic Analysis of Nonverbal Accuracy – Second Edition (DANVA-2); Social Emotional Evaluation (SEE); Social Responsiveness Scale-Second Edition (SRS-2)


Stability. Test-retest stability was assessed over 3-months and 9-months. For the 3-month interval (n = 21), the stability ranged from r = .404 to .760. For the 9-month interval (n = 50), the stability ranged from r = .531 to .756.

Relationship to other measures of emotion recognition. The CAM-C was substantially related to the two other measures of emotion recognition. For the DANVA-2 (n = 168), correlations ranged from r = .424 to .608 between the CAM-C variables and a sum of adult and child faces subtests. For the SEE (n = 36), correlations ranged from r = .532 to .656 between the CAM-C variables and a total score of receptive emotion recognition.

Relationship to a measure of ASD symptoms. We did not find a meaningful relationship between any of the CAM-C variables and ASD symptoms. For the SRS-2 (n = 267), all correlations were non-significant and less than r = .08.


We found the CAM-C was both a stable and valid measure of emotion recognition, relative to other measures of the same construct. The lack of a relationship between this measure and a measure of ASD symptoms challenges the assumption that emotion recognition independently contributes to the broader deficits in ASD.

See more of: Emotion
See more of: Emotion