ERIC Number: EJ1018955
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
Spontaneous Attention to Faces in Asperger Syndrome Using Ecologically Valid Static Stimuli
Hanley, Mary; McPhillips, Martin; Mulhern, Gerry; Riby, Deborah M.
Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, v17 n6 p754-761 Nov 2013
Previous eye tracking research on the allocation of attention to social information by individuals with autism spectrum disorders is equivocal and may be in part a consequence of variation in stimuli used between studies. The current study explored attention allocation to faces, and within faces, by individuals with Asperger syndrome using a range of static stimuli where faces were either viewed in isolation or viewed in the context of a social scene. Results showed that faces were viewed typically by the individuals with Asperger syndrome when presented in isolation, but attention to the eyes was significantly diminished in comparison to age and IQ-matched typical viewers when faces were viewed as part of social scenes. We show that when using static stimuli, there is evidence of atypicality for individuals with Asperger syndrome depending on the extent of social context. Our findings shed light on the previous explanations of gaze behaviour that have emphasised the role of movement in atypicalities of social attention in autism spectrum disorders and highlight the importance of consideration of the realistic portrayal of social information for future studies.
Descriptors: Asperger Syndrome, Eye Movements, Visual Stimuli, Human Body, Comparative Analysis, Social Influences, Context Effect, Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Foreign Countries, Adolescents, Multivariate Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland