Autism and autistic anime characters has always been a discussion and debated. Many aren’t officially confirmed to be.
On the other side of the coin, autistic fans were never known to be any more adept than ordinary fans as far as anime, manga, and the content in general.
In a new UK Study (Edge Hill University) it was shown that autistic people who read manga and watch anime/cartoons were better at understanding the emotions of the characters.
That means the characters:
- Emotions they were most likely feeling/portraying.
And the emotions they were truly expressing within the anime or manga.
Autistic study in detail
As pointed out by Wiley.com, the original source:
“Prior research suggests that while autistic people may demonstrate poorer facial emotion recognition when stimuli are human, these differences lessen when stimuli are anthropomorphic. To investigate this further, this work explores emotion recognition in autistic and neurotypical adults (n = 196).
Groups were compared on a standard and a cartoon version of the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test. Results indicated that autistic individuals were not significantly different from neurotypicals on the standard version. However, autistic people outperformed neurotypicals on the cartoon version.
The implications for these findings regarding emotion recognition deficits and the social motivation account of autism are discussed and support the view of socio-cognitive differences rather than deficits in this population.”
And as pointed out by Psypost, a psychological website:
“The results of our experiment were really surprising,” said Atherton in a news release. “Autistic people are often described as ‘mind-blind’ or having poorer socio-cognitive skills than neurotypicals. In our test, not only were autistic able to read emotions in cartoons, but they did it with better accuracy than neurotypical participants.”
“The fact neurotypicals did worse than autistic people on cartoon eyes raises important questions. Research suggests that this could be an area of social-cognitive strength in autistic people who seem better at identifying with anthropomorphic and non-human agents like animals, robots, dolls or cartoons.”
This may mean manga readers get a better emotional experience
As pointed out by Nazology.net, which covered the news originally:
“There was no significant difference between autistic and healthy subjects in terms of “pictures of human eyes,” but in terms of “images of cartoon characters’ eyes,” the results were rather positive for autism. It turns out that people are more accurate at guessing emotions .
It is quite a surprising result that autistic people have a higher correct answer rate than healthy people in emotion recognition.
This suggests that people with autism have enhanced emotional recognition of manga characters compared to normal people.”
What do you think of this UK Study? And do you agree with it?
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