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Absence of contagious yawning in children with autism spectrum disorder

Senju, Atsushi and Maeda, M. and Kikuchi, Y. and Hasegawa, T. and Tojo, Y. and Osanai, H. (2007) Absence of contagious yawning in children with autism spectrum disorder. Biology Letters 3 (6), pp. 706-708. ISSN 1744-9561.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2007.0337

Abstract

This study is the first to report the disturbance of contagious yawning in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Twenty-four children with ASD as well as 25 age-matched typically developing (TD) children observed video clips of either yawning or control mouth movements. Yawning video clips elicited more yawns in TD children than in children with ASD, but the frequency of yawns did not differ between groups when they observed control video clips. Moreover, TD children yawned more during or after the yawn video clips than the control video clips, but the type of video clips did not affect the amount of yawning in children with ASD. Current results suggest that contagious yawning is impaired in ASD, which may relate to their impairment in empathy. It supports the claim that contagious yawning is based on the capacity for empathy.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): yawning, contagious yawning, autism spectrum disorder, empathy, neuropathology
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2012 07:55
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:33
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/4671

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