Evaluating the importance of social motor synchronization and motor skill for understanding autism

Paula Fitzpatrick, Veronica Romero, Joseph L. Amaral, Amie Duncan, Holly Barnard, Michael J. Richardson, R. C. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Impairments in social interaction and communicating with others are core features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but the specific processes underlying such social competence impairments are not well understood. An important key for increasing our understanding of ASD-specific social deficits may lie with the social motor synchronization that takes place when we implicitly coordinate our bodies with others. Here, we tested whether dynamical measures of synchronization differentiate children with ASD from controls and further explored the relationships between synchronization ability and motor control problems. We found (a) that children with ASD exhibited different and less stable patterns of social synchronization ability than controls; (b) children with ASD performed motor movements that were slower and more variable in both spacing and timing; and (c) some social synchronization that involved motor timing was related to motor ability but less rhythmic synchronization was not. These findings raise the possibility that objective dynamical measures of synchronization ability and motor skill could provide new insights into understanding the social deficits in ASD that could ultimately aid clinical diagnosis and prognosis.

LanguageEnglish
Pages1687-1699
Number of pages13
JournalAutism Research
Volume10
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Motor Skills
Autistic Disorder
Aptitude
Interpersonal Relations
Autism Spectrum Disorder

Keywords

  • autism
  • social synchronization
  • dynamics
  • social interaction
  • motor skill

Cite this

Fitzpatrick, P., Romero, V., Amaral, J. L., Duncan, A., Barnard, H., Richardson, M. J., & Schmidt, R. C. (2017). Evaluating the importance of social motor synchronization and motor skill for understanding autism. Autism Research, 10(10), 1687-1699. https://doi.org/10.1002/aur.1808
Fitzpatrick, Paula ; Romero, Veronica ; Amaral, Joseph L. ; Duncan, Amie ; Barnard, Holly ; Richardson, Michael J. ; Schmidt, R. C. / Evaluating the importance of social motor synchronization and motor skill for understanding autism. In: Autism Research. 2017 ; Vol. 10, No. 10. pp. 1687-1699.
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Fitzpatrick, P, Romero, V, Amaral, JL, Duncan, A, Barnard, H, Richardson, MJ & Schmidt, RC 2017, 'Evaluating the importance of social motor synchronization and motor skill for understanding autism', Autism Research, vol. 10, no. 10, pp. 1687-1699. https://doi.org/10.1002/aur.1808

Evaluating the importance of social motor synchronization and motor skill for understanding autism. / Fitzpatrick, Paula; Romero, Veronica; Amaral, Joseph L.; Duncan, Amie; Barnard, Holly; Richardson, Michael J.; Schmidt, R. C.

In: Autism Research, Vol. 10, No. 10, 10.2017, p. 1687-1699.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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