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A review of methods in the study of attention in autism

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    Rights statement: NOTICE: this is the author's version of a work that was accepted for publication in Developmental Review. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Developmental Review, 30, 1, 2010, doi: 10.1016/j.dr.2009.12.003 Ames, C., & Fletcher-Watson, S. (2010). A review of methods in the study of attention in autism. International review of developmental biology, 30(1), 52-73.

    Accepted author manuscript, 276 KB, PDF document

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-73
Number of pages22
JournalDevelopmental Review
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010

Abstract

Atypical attention, while not a diagnostic feature, is common in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The study of these atypicalities has recently gained in both quantity and quality, due in part to an increased focus on attentional atypicalities as one of the earliest signs of ASD in infancy. A range of attentional processes and components have been investigated, and the methods used are varied, from Posner-type paradigms, to the more recent use of eye-movement recording and change-detection techniques. This methodological complexity is one factor in the production of conflicting evidence on the topic of attention in ASD. This review uses a focus on methodology to clarify the literature to date and provide a resource for researchers wishing to study attention in ASD. Other factors that have contributed to the current discrepancies in findings are discussed, particularly the role of individual and group differences within the population of people with ASD.

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