Social motor synchronization

insights for understanding social behavior in autism

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Impairments in social interaction and communication are critical features of ASD but the underlying processes are poorly understood. An under-explored area is the social motor synchronization that happens when we coordinate our bodies with others. Here, we explored the relationships between dynamical measures of social motor synchronization and assessments of ASD traits. We found (a) spontaneous social motor synchronization was associated with responding to joint attention, cooperation, and theory of mind while intentional social motor synchronization was associated with initiating joint attention and theory of mind; and (b) social motor synchronization was associated with ASD severity but not fully explained by motor problems. Findings suggest that objective measures of social motor synchronization may provide insights into understanding ASD traits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2092-2107
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume47
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • autism
  • social synchronization
  • dynamics
  • social interaction

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