• Autistic people who avoid eye contact experience more amygdala stimulation when forced to look in people’s eyes. This is the “fight or flight” stress response, and the researchers suggest that autistic reactions to faces including feeling that they are threatening (Tottenham et al, 2013).

References

  • Tottenham, N., Hertzig, M. E., Gillespie-Lynch, K., Gilhooly, T., Millner, A. J., & Casey, B. J. (2013). Elevated amygdala response to faces and gaze aversion in autism spectrum disorder. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience, nst050.