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Studying global processing in autism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder with gaze movements: The example of a copying task

Seernani, D and Ioannou, C and Damania, K and Spindler, K and Hill, H and Foulsham, T and Smyrnis, N and Bender, S and Fleischhaker, C and Biscaldi, M and Ebner-Priemer, U and Klein, C (2020) 'Studying global processing in autism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder with gaze movements: The example of a copying task.' PLoS One, 15 (6). ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

Recent discussions in the literature, along with the revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) (American Psychiatric Association 2013), suggest aetiological commonalities between the highly comorbid Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Addressing this discussion requires studying these disorders together by comparing constructs typical to each of them. In the present study, we investigate global processing, known to be difficult for participants with ASD, and Intra-Subject Variability (ISV), known to be consistently increased in participants with ADHD, in groups, aged 10–13 years, with ADHD (n = 25), ASD without comorbid ADHD (ASD-) (n = 13) and ASD with ADHD (ASD+) (n = 18) in comparison with a typically developing group (n = 22). A Copying task, typically requiring global processing and in this case particularly designed using equally complex stimuli to also measure ISV across trials, was selected. Oculomotor measures in this task proved to be particularly sensitive to group differences. While increased ISV was not observed in the present task in participants with ADHD, both ASD groups looked longer on the figure to be drawn, indicating that global processing takes longer in ASD. However, the ASD+ group fixated on the figure only between drawing movements, whereas the ASD- group did this throughout the drawing process. The present study provides evidence towards ASD and ADHD being separate, not-overlapping, disorders. Since the pure ASD- group was affected more by central coherence problems than the ASD+ group, it may suggest that neuropsychological constructs interact differently in different clinical groups and sub-groups.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2020 08:48
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2020 09:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/27913

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