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Precursors to social and communication difficulties in infants at-risk for autism: gaze following and attentional engagement

Bedford, Rachael and Elsabbagh, Mayada and Gliga, Teodora and Pickles, A. and Senju, Atsushi and Charman, T. and Johnson, Mark H. (2012) Precursors to social and communication difficulties in infants at-risk for autism: gaze following and attentional engagement. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 42 (10), pp. 2208-2218. ISSN 0162-3257.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10803-012-1450-y

Abstract

Whilst joint attention (JA) impairments in autism have been widely studied, little is known about the early development of gaze following, a precursor to establishing JA. We employed eye-tracking to record gaze following longitudinally in infants with and without a family history of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at 7 and 13 months. No group difference was found between at-risk and low-risk infants in gaze following behaviour at either age. However, despite following gaze successfully at 13 months, at-risk infants with later emerging socio-communication difficulties (both those with ASD and atypical development at 36 months of age) allocated less attention to the congruent object compared to typically developing at-risk siblings and low-risk controls. The findings suggest that the subtle emergence of difficulties in JA in infancy may be related to ASD and other atypical outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Autism, at-risk siblings, broader autism phenotype, joint attention, gaze following
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2012 11:49
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:33
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/4653

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