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    Visuo-attentional correlates of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children with Down syndrome: a comparative study with children with idiopathic ASD

    Glennon, Jennifer M. and D’Souza, H. and Mason, Luke and Karmiloff-Smith, Annette and Thomas, Michael S.C. (2020) Visuo-attentional correlates of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children with Down syndrome: a comparative study with children with idiopathic ASD. Research in Developmental Disabilities 104 , p. 103678. ISSN 0891-4222.

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    Abstract

    Background: Children with Down syndrome (DS) are at increased likelihood of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) relative to the general population. Debate is ongoing concerning the precise aetiology of this comorbidity. Here, we examine the visuo- attentional characteristics of ASD comorbidity in DS focusing specifically on attentional disengagement and visual search performance. Method: Eye-tracking data were collected from children with DS (n=15) and idiopathic ASD (iASD, n=16) matched according to chronological age. Seven children with DS had formal clinical diagnoses of ASD. Results: Higher autistic trait levels were associated with decreased temporal facilitation on a gap-overlap task, implying increased visuo- spatial orienting efficiency, in children with iASD. This was not the case in DS. In all cases, higher autistic trait levels were associated with improved visual search performance (decreased target detection latencies). Children with DS+ASD outperformed their peers with DS-ASD, mirroring the phenotypic advantage associated with iASD. We found no evidence of a relationship between gap-overlap and visual search performance, providing preliminary evidence of a differentiation in terms of underlying visuo-attentional mechanism. Conclusion: We illustrate the value of progressing beyond insensitive behavioural indices of autistic-like symptomology to examine, in a more fine-grained way, the attentional features underpinning ASD comorbidity in genetic syndrome groups.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome
    School: School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Michael Thomas
    Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2020 10:28
    Last Modified: 13 Feb 2021 10:34
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/41008

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