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Eye movements affirm: automatic overt gaze and arrow cueing for typical adults and adults with autism spectrum disorder

Kuhn, Gustav, Benson, Valerie, Fletcher-Watson, Sue, Kovshoff, Hanna, McCormick, Cristin A., Kirkby, Julie and Leekam, Susan R. 2010. Eye movements affirm: automatic overt gaze and arrow cueing for typical adults and adults with autism spectrum disorder. Experimental Brain Research 201 (2) , pp. 155-165. 10.1007/s00221-009-2019-7

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Abstract

People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show reduced interest towards social aspects of the environment and a lesser tendency to follow other people’s gaze in the real world. However, most studies have shown that people with ASD do respond to eye-gaze cues in experimental paradigms, though it is possible that this behaviour is based on an atypical strategy. We tested this possibility in adults with ASD using a cueing task combined with eye-movement recording. Both eye gaze and arrow pointing distractors resulted in overt cueing effects, both in terms of increased saccadic reaction times, and in proportions of saccades executed to the cued direction instead of to the target, for both participant groups. Our results confirm previous reports that eye gaze cues as well as arrow cues result in automatic orienting of overt attention. Moreover, since there were no group differences between arrow and eye gaze cues, we conclude that overt attentional orienting in ASD, at least in response to centrally presented schematic directional distractors, is typical.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gaze following - Gaze cueing - Oculomotor inhibition - Autism - Eye movements - Social attention
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0014-4819
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:00
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/30811

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