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Social scene perception in autism spectrum disorder: An eye-tracking and pupillometric study
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
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2019 (English)In: Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, ISSN 1380-3395, E-ISSN 1744-411XArticle in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Typically, developing humans innately place subjective value on social information and orient attention to it. This can be shown through tracking of gaze patterns and pupil size, the latter of which taps into an individuals cognitive engagement and affective arousal. People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) present with atypical social, communicative and behavioral patterns, but underlying substrates of these behavioral differences remain unclear. Moreover, due to high comorbidity with other neurodevelopmental disorders, it is often difficult to distinguish which differences are distinctive to ASD. In this study, a group of 35 adolescents and young adults with neurodevelopmental disorders were tested to investigate the processing of social and non-social scenes in individuals who meet the diagnostic criteria for autism and those who do not. Eye tracking and pupillometry measures were collected while participants observed images of tightly controlled natural scenes with or without a human being. Contrary to individuals without autism diagnosis, participants with autism did not show greater pupillary response to images with a human. Participants with autism were slower to fixate on social elements in the social scenes, and this latency metric correlated with clinical measures of poor social functioning. The results confirm the clinical relevance of eye-tracking and pupillometric indices in the field of ASD. We discuss the clinical implications of the results and propose that analysis of changes in visual attention and physiological level to social stimuli might be an integral part of a neurodevelopmental assessment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
TAYLOR & FRANCIS INC , 2019.
Keywords [en]
Autism spectrum disorder; ESSENCE; pupillometry; social processing; gaze aversion
National Category
Psychiatry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-159878DOI: 10.1080/13803395.2019.1646214ISI: 000479932000001PubMedID: 31362564OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-159878DiVA, id: diva2:1346239
Note

Funding Agencies|Stena Foundation

Available from: 2019-08-27 Created: 2019-08-27 Last updated: 2019-11-20

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