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Visual orienting in the early broader autism phenotype: disengagement and facilitation

Elsabbagh, M and Volein, A and Holmboe, K and Tucker, L and Csibra, G and Baron-Cohen, S and Bolton, P and Charman, T and Baird, G and Johnson, MH (2009) 'Visual orienting in the early broader autism phenotype: disengagement and facilitation.' Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50 (5). pp. 637-642. ISSN 0021-9630

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Abstract

Background:? Recent studies of infant siblings of children diagnosed with autism have allowed for a prospective approach to examine the emergence of symptoms and revealed behavioral differences in the broader autism phenotype within the early years. In the current study we focused on a set of functions associated with visual attention, previously reported to be atypical in autism. Method:? We compared performance of a group of 9?10-month-old infant siblings of children with autism to a control group with no family history of autism on the ?gap-overlap task?, which measures the cost of disengaging from a central stimulus in order to fixate a peripheral one. Two measures were derived on the basis of infants? saccadic reaction times. The first is the Disengagement effect, which measures the efficiency of disengaging from a central stimulus to orient to a peripheral one. The second was a Facilitation effect, which arises when the infant is cued by a temporal gap preceding the onset of the peripheral stimulus, and would orient faster after its onset. Results and conclusion:? Infant siblings of children with autism showed longer Disengagement latencies as well as less Facilitation relative to the control group. The findings are discussed in relation to how differences in visual attention may relate to characteristics observed in autism and the broader phenotype

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Infancy; autism; visual attention; gap-overlap task; disengagement
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2013 12:32
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:28
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/5699

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