Edinburgh Research Explorer

Eye movements in autism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Handbook of Eye Movements
PublisherOxford University Press
Pages709-730
ISBN (Print)9780199539789
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a term encompassing a range of developmental conditions principally characterized by impairments in social interaction and communication. It is unclear to what extent the social difficulties experienced by people with ASD result from differences in sampling the social environment, or differences in interpreting the information sampled, or both. In addition, perceptual and attentional atypicalities are common in the disorder. This chapter reviews how eye tracking has been used to explore all of these issues. We organize the literature into sections covering low-level eye-movement characteristics; perception of complex stimuli; and processing of and attention to social information. The heterogeneity of the disorder, changes across development, and the effect of general ability and linguistic level all impact upon findings. We interpret the studies reviewed in terms of these effects and link findings to theoretical accounts of autism, as well as considering the
future of eye-movement research in ASD.

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