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Do children with ASD use referential gaze to learn the name of an object: an eye-tracking study

Akechi, H. and Senju, Atsushi and Kikuchi, Y. and Tojo, Y. and Osanai, H. and Hasegawa, T. (2011) Do children with ASD use referential gaze to learn the name of an object: an eye-tracking study. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 5 (3), pp. 1230-1242. ISSN 1750-9467.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2011.01.013

Abstract

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are reported to have difficulty in learning novel word–object associations in case of discrepancy between objects in the speaker's focus and their focus (the discrepant condition). Two eye-tracking experiments investigated this difficulty by controlling and recording children's gaze fixation. In Experiment 1's discrepant condition, typically developing (TD) children (age: 6–11 years) mapped the novel word to the novel object in the speaker's focus more frequently than children with ASD (age: 6–11 years). Additionally, the former looked at the object in the speaker's focus longer than the object in their own focus, while the latter looked at these objects for the same duration. In Experiment 2, the saliency of the object in the speaker's focus was enhanced and children with ASD (age: 6–12 years) mapped the word to the object in the speaker's focus as well as TD children (age: 6–12 years). Moreover, they looked at the object in the speaker's focus longer than the object in their focus. Comparison between experiments also confirmed improvement in performance, suggesting that the duration of gaze at an object in the speaker's focus is related to difficulty in referential word learning in children with ASD.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Autism spectrum disorder, gaze reference, word learning, eye tracking, children, social cognition
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2011 11:01
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:20
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/3084

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