My interest in this was triggered by a special on the human brain I saw on a cable channel. Supposedly, and I wonder about this, Secret Service agents scored the best as human lie detectors, while psychiatrists and other mental health professionals did no better than random college freshmen. (http://www.mettonline.com/) Paul Ekman has written several texts on this, as well has hosting a BBC special on the human face.
Here is the "autism" connection:
If I can study and memorize body language, with at least some success, why not teach microexpressions to individuals with high-functioning autism?
After a few days, I was scoring over 50% on simple microexpression tests. These are simple tests, of course, using videos of faces and asking the viewer to select from a range of emotions. The ability to recognize emotions visually is worth some study and review, at least in my experience.
I might never be "normal" in terms of evaluating non-verbal cues, but memorization seems to be working pretty well. In fact, I wonder if the fact I am analyzing and memorizing might not actually make me a better "reader" of human emotions over time.
If nothing else, the notion of teaching facial expressions deserves some thought.