The processing of emotions is particular in autism: this observation is consensual. Yet people with autism spectrum disorder recognize the facial expressions of others and can label corresponding emotions, at least primary ones. Their problem is to give meaning, to contextualize others’ emotion. The same applies to them. Their feelings are confused as most of them are alexithymic. They feel a different state without being able to attribute it to the circumstances or refer it to a personal cause or name it. Perhaps they have a simple approach to the signal, dissociated from our mentalization of the internal experiences that accompany it. Yet these movements speak to our amygdala which reacts to the signal before having identified the medium. Is this a decisive argument? Can a physical signal in itself convey psychological meaning? The theory of constructed emotion challenges neurocognitive and neuroaffective theories as well as the option of discrete biological signals. Perhaps the dissociation made in autism between perceptual discrimination of a facial movement and emotional experience is key to distinguish the different stages of mentalization to which emotion subjects us and that we short-circuit in the illusion of a unified whole?
Pour citer cet article :Nadel Jacqueline (2023/2). Emotion in Autism: What Management of its Incarnation and Contextualization? In Viaud-Delmon Isabelle, Chapouthier Georges (Eds), Beyond Cognition, the Emotions, Intellectica, 79, (pp.29-38), DOI: n/a.