ERIC Number: EJ946682
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 63
Brain Mechanisms for Processing Direct and Averted Gaze in Individuals with Autism
Pitskel, Naomi B.; Bolling, Danielle Z.; Hudac, Caitlin M.; Lantz, Stephen D.; Minshew, Nancy J.; Vander Wyk, Brent C.; Pelphrey, Kevin A.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, v41 n12 p1686-1693 Dec 2011
Prior studies have indicated brain abnormalities underlying social processing in autism, but no fMRI study has specifically addressed the differential processing of direct and averted gaze, a critical social cue. Fifteen adolescents and adults with autism and 14 typically developing comparison participants viewed dynamic virtual-reality videos depicting a simple but realistic social scenario, in which an approaching male figure maintained either direct or averted gaze. Significant group by condition interactions reflecting differential responses to direct versus averted gaze in people with autism relative to typically developing individuals were identified in the right temporoparietal junction, right anterior insula, left lateral occipital cortex, and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Our results provide initial evidence regarding brain mechanisms underlying the processing of gaze direction during simple social encounters, providing new insight into the social deficits in individuals with autism.
Descriptors: Interpersonal Relationship, Video Technology, Autism, Brain, Eye Movements, Neurological Impairments, Adolescents, Adults, Comparative Analysis, Visual Stimuli, Vignettes, Males, Responses, Brain Hemisphere Functions
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A