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Autism Research and Treatment (1)
Journal of Vision (1)
Fan, Yuebo (2)
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Abnormality in face scanning by children with autism spectrum disorder is limited to the eye region: Evidence from multi-method analyses of eye tracking data
Quinn, Paul C.
Journal of Vision
There has been considerable controversy regarding whether children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typically developing children (TD) show different eye movement patterns when processing faces. We investigated ASD and age- and IQ-matched TD children's scanning of faces using a novel multi-method approach. We found that ASD children spent less time looking at the whole face generally. After controlling for this difference, ASD children's fixations of the other face parts, except for the eye region, and their scanning paths between face parts were comparable either to the age-matched or IQ-matched TD groups. In contrast, in the eye region, ASD children's scanning differed significantly from that of both TD groups: (a) ASD children fixated significantly less on the right eye (from the observer's view); (b) ASD children's fixations were more biased towards the left eye region; and (c) ASD children fixated below the left eye, whereas TD children fixated on the pupil region of the eye. Thus, ASD children do not have a general abnormality in face scanning. Rather, their abnormality is limited to the eye region, likely due to their strong tendency to avoid eye contact.
autism spectrum disorder; face processing; face recognition; eye movements; eye tracking
Visual Scanning Patterns during the Dimensional Change Card Sorting Task in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism Research and Treatment
Impaired cognitive flexibility in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been reported in previous literature. The present study explored ASD children's visual scanning patterns during the Dimensional Change Card Sorting (DCCS) task using eye-tracking technique. ASD and typical developing (TD) children completed the standardized DCCS procedure on the computer while their eye movements were tracked. Behavioral results confirmed previous findings on ASD children's deficits in executive function. ASD children's visual scanning patterns also showed some specific underlying processes in the DCCS task compared to TD children. For example, ASD children looked shorter at the correct card in the postswitch phase and spent longer time at blank areas than TD children did. ASD children did not show a bias to the color dimension as TD children did. The correlations between the behavioral performance and eye moments were also discussed.
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