Attention to social stimuli and facial identity recognition skills in autism spectrum disorder

C. E. Wilson*, J. Brock, R. Palermo

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    41 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background Previous research suggests that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have a reduced preference for viewing social stimuli in the environment and impaired facial identity recognition.Methods Here, we directly tested a link between these two phenomena in 13 ASD children and 13 age-matched typically developing (TD) controls. Eye movements were recorded while participants passively viewed visual scenes containing people and objects. Participants also completed independent matching tasks for faces and objects.Results and Conclusions Behavioural data showed that participants with ASD were impaired on both face- and object-matching tasks relative to TD controls. Eye-tracking data revealed that both groups showed a strong bias to orient towards people. TD children spent proportionally more time looking at people than objects; however, there was no difference in viewing times between people and objects in the ASD group. In the ASD group, an individual's preference for looking first at the people in scenes was associated with level of face recognition ability. Further research is required to determine whether a causal relationship exists between these factors.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1104-1115
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
    Volume54
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Attention to social stimuli and facial identity recognition skills in autism spectrum disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this