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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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.
|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 > Psychology|
|Date Deposited:||22 Mar 2012 11:49|
|Last Modified:||17 Apr 2013 12:33|
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