Recognition of Emotional States of Children with down Syndrome by Facial Expression: Perceptual and Automatic Analysis of Dynamic Images



The study is devoted to the investigation of the recognition of the emotional state of children with Down syndrome (DS) by their facial expression. For this purpose, a series of perceptual experiments involving adults (n=75) and automatic analysis of the facial expressions of children (n=35, aged 5—16 years) were carried out using the FaceReader program. The ability of adults to recognize the emotional states of children: joy — neutral (calm state) — sadness — anger, by open faces and faces with masks over the eyes and mouth is shown. Better recognition of the state of joy and neutral state under the condition of an open face and a decrease in recognition accuracy in a mask in the eye area compared to the absence of a mask and a mask in the mouth area were found. Automatic recognition of the states of joy and neutral states is better than the states of sadness and anger, if the face is open and the mask in the mouth area of the child. The conditions for use the automatic recognition of facial expression in children with DS and for applying the method of perceptual analysis for identifying the specificity of the child emotional sphere development are discussed.

General Information

Keywords: facial expression, children with Down syndrome, perceptual experiment, automatic recognition, FaceReader program, dynamic images

Journal rubric: Face Science

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The study was funded by Russian Science Foundation (project RSF-DST number 22-45-02007).

Received: 30.06.2022


For citation: Lyakso E.E., Frolova O.V., Grigoriev A.S., Filatova Y.O., Makhnytkina O.V. Recognition of Emotional States of Children with down Syndrome by Facial Expression: Perceptual and Automatic Analysis of Dynamic Images. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2022. Vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 140–158. DOI: 10.17759/exppsy.2022150310. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Elena E. Lyakso, Doctor of Biology, Professor of Department of Higher Nervous Activity and Psychophysiology, Biology Faculty, St. Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Olga V. Frolova, PhD in Biology, Researcher, Biological Faculty, Saint Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Alexey S. Grigoriev, PhD in Biology, Associate Professor, Department of Higher Nervous Activity and Psychophysiology, Saint Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Yulia O. Filatova, Doctor of Education, Associate Professor, Leading Researcher Department of Higher Nervous Activity and Psychophysiology, Saint Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Olesia V. Makhnytkina, PhD in Engineering, Associate Professor, Information Technologies and Programming Faculty, ITMO University, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail: