Carolien Rieffe, PhD
Despite stereotypical ideas on autism, normally intelligent or ‘high functioning’ children with autism spectrum disorders (HFASD) often display an adequate understanding of basic emotions of others and of themselves. In the present line of research we examine their more advanced emotional abilities, e.g. using emotional display rules and understanding mixed or implicit emotions, and factors involved in the actual use of these abilities in daily life situations. Recent results include, for example, the finding that children with HFASD show an adequate ability to reason about emotions, but strongly rely on theoretical knowledge. Special attention is also given to children’s understanding of and coping with their own emotions, which has received little attention in the research literature to date.
The origins of emotion control
In order to interact with others properly, you need to be able to control your emotions. This involves the ability to acknowledge your own emotions and to know how to communicate these most effectively. For autistic children this seems to be problematic but the origins of this lack of emotion control are unclear. Are these children more easily aroused than their peers? Do they lack insight into the communicative function of emotions? By using mood induction techniques and by varying the salience of a goal (i.e., reaching a personal or a social goal) we aim to study the origins of emotion control.
Researchers involved: Carolien Rieffe
News Archive Autism
Presentations in Rotterdam and Vienna
Focus on Emotions lab has been busy these days! Sharing and discussing findings and insights to a broader audience of academics and professionals is important for research. On 24 March 2017, Boya, Anne, Danique, and Tamara presented their studies on autism at National Autism Congress in Rotterdam. Boya and Tamara shared their findings on the development of internalizing and externalizing behaviors in autistic boys, while Anne and Danique talked about empathy in autistic girls. Meanwhile, Carolien and Sheida were in Vienna, Austria, for the biennial International Convention of Psychological Science (ICPS). Carolien presented new behavioral data on adolescents with communicative impairments in two symposiums. Sheida talked about cultural differences in understanding one’s own and others people’s emotions. The talks were well received and generated lively discussions.
Empathy in Girls with Autism
In January 2017, our research intern from Germany, Anne Bülow, started a special project within the Focus on Emotions lab (in collaboration with Laura Hull and Felicity Sedgewick, UCL, London, UK): empathy in girls with autism. Anne managed to create a team for the time-consuming task of coding hours and hours of video materials in which girls and boys, with and without autism, witnessed how the experimenter hurt herself. After two months, Anne, Danique, Jeffrey and Tamara finished their last meeting, and all codings are now entered in spss, ready to be analysed. The first outcomes of a pilot study on these data will be presented next week (24 March) at the National Autism Congress in Rotterdam.
New collaboration with Peking University on autism
In September 2016, Focus on Emotions lab (Carolien, Boya, and Marieke Bos) started a collaboration with Professor Li Yi from Developmental and Pedagogical Psychology at Peking University, China, to investigate emotion understanding in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the Netherlands and in China. This two-year joint research project is funded by The KNAW NWO China Committee, under a large-scaled China Exchange Program sponsored by the Dutch ministry of OCW (Education, Culture and Science). Dr. Ingrid d'Hooghe, the China advisor and coordinator of Leiden University, visited Professor Yi in Peking University on the 15th of November and had a joyful meeting. The two parties are both excited about this new collaboration, which may be a good start of a long-term research cooperation that not only promotes cooperative knowledge sharing but more importantly broadens and deepens our knowledge in the field of ASD research. To know more about this project, you can read the news article posted by Leiden University here (English version) or here (Dutch version).
|“Attachment, Emotions, and Autism” conference held by RINO||26 September 2016|
|Pokémon Go new opportunity for children with autism||19 July 2016|
|Usability of tablets in ASD-Research||17 September 2015|
|ISRE - Conference on emotions||04 August 2015|
|Smartwatch to support children with ASD||20 July 2015|
|Carolien in the media about autism||20 April 2015|
|Posters presented at National Autism Conference||30 March 2015|
|Kanner lecture||24 March 2015|
|Understanding other minds in young children with Autism||10 January 2015|
|Paper in press!||12 June 2014|
|Congratulations Dr Lucinda!||14 January 2014|
|Paper accepted||18 November 2013|
|EmotionWeb training||02 October 2013|
|Autism Week||31 March 2013|
|ASD papers in press||23 January 2013|
|Award for best research paper||16 October 2012|
|Special issue on Social Cognitions; bullying and victimization in Autism||04 June 2012|
|ASD conference Toronto||18 April 2012|