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Type of Measure: Emotion and mental state recognition are core difficulties in autism spectrum conditions (ASC). This difficulty recognizing and understanding complex emotions impacts ability communicate and contributes to social deficits (Golan, Sinai-Gavrilov, & Baron-Cohen, 2015). The Cambridge Mindreading Face-Voice Battery for Children (CAM-C), is an adaptation of a complex emotion recognition battery for adults (see CAM-Adult). The CAM-C includes nine different complex emotions. The battery provides emotion recognition scores for faces and for voices, as well as for the number of emotions correctly recognized.

Nine emotional concepts were selected from a developmentally tested emotional taxonomy (described at greater length in Baron-Cohen, Golan, Wheelwright, & Hill, 2004): amused, bothered, disappointed, embarrassed, jealous, loving, nervous, undecided, and unfriendly. The selected concepts included emotions that are developmentally significant, subtle variations of basic emotions that have a mental component and emotions and mental states that are important for everyday social functioning. For each emotional concept, three face items and three voice items were created using silent video clips of facial expressions and audio clips of short verbalizations spoken in emotional intonation (ranging from 3 to 5 s long).

Target Population: Children with ASC (ages 8-12)

Measurement properties and previous use: Golan, Sinai-Gavrilov, and Baron-Cohen (2015) examined the psychometric properties of the CAM-C battery, in terms of reliability, concurrent validity and ability to differentiate between children with ASC and typically developing children in emotion recognition skills.

The CAM-C battery demonstrated good test-retest reliability and concurrent validity. Test-retest correlations were r = .74 for the face task and r = .76 for the voice task (p < .001 for both). CAM scores were positively associated with participants’ age and negatively associated with the level of autistic symptomatology (specifically, scores on the Chidhood Autism Spectrum (CAST), the Wechsler Abbreviated Scales of Intelligence (WASI), and the Reading the Eyes in the Mind (RME) child version); (see Table 4 of Golan, Sinai-Gavrilov, & Baron-Cohen, 2015).

Furthermore, the ASC group had more difficulties recognizing complex emotions from faces and voices and recognized fewer emotional concepts, compared to the control group, even when controlling for age and verbal IQ. Children with ASC showed specific difficulties in the recognition of six out of the nine complex emotions and mental states tested: disappointed, jealous, nervous, unfriendly, bothered and amused. The grounds for these difficulties are discussed in reference to two main factors characterizing complex emotions: complexity (that is, combining several basic emotions and mental states) and subtlety (that is, toning down an emotional expression or attempting to conceal it).

Languages: English

Authors and Citation: Golan, O., Sinai-Gavrilov, Y., & Baron-Cohen, S. (2015). The Cambridge Mindreading Face-Voice Battery for Children (CAM-C): complex emotion recognition in children with and without autism spectrum conditions. Molecular autism, 6(1), 1.

Licence: This measure is freely available online, and may be used along with proper citiation.

Link to measure: Cambridge Mindreading Face-Voice Battery for Children (CAM-C)

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