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BACKGROUND Manifestations of core social deficits in autism are more pronounced in everyday settings than in explicit experimental tasks. To bring experimental measures in line with clinical observation, we report a novel method of quantifying atypical strategies of social monitoring in a setting that simulates the demands of daily experience. Enhanced(More)
Typically developing human infants preferentially attend to biological motion within the first days of life. This ability is highly conserved across species and is believed to be critical for filial attachment and for detection of predators. The neural underpinnings of biological motion perception are overlapping with brain regions involved in perception of(More)
Deficits in eye contact have been a hallmark of autism 1,2 since the condition's initial description 3. They are cited widely as a diagnostic feature 4 and figure prominently in clinical instruments 5 ; however, the early onset of these deficits has not been known. Here we show in a prospective longitudinal study that infants later diagnosed with autism(More)
Normative-IQ individuals with autism are capable of solving explicit social cognitive problems at a level that is not matched by their ability to meet the demands of everyday social situations. The magnitude of this discrepancy is now being documented through newer techniques such as eye tracking, which allows us to see and measure how individuals with(More)
OBJECTIVE Genetic and neurofunctional research in autism has highlighted the need for improved characterization of the core social disorder defining the broad spectrum of syndrome manifestations. METHOD This article reviews the advantages and limitations of current methods for the refinement and quantification of this highly heterogeneous social(More)
CONTEXT Within the first week of life, typical human newborns give preferential attention to the eyes of others. Similar findings in other species suggest that attention to the eyes is a highly conserved phylogenetic mechanism of social development. For children with autism, however, diminished and aberrant eye contact is a lifelong hallmark of disability.(More)
Mounting clinical evidence suggests that abnormalities of social engagement in children with autism are present even during infancy. However, direct experimental documentation of these abnormalities is still limited. In this case report of a 15-month-old infant with autism, we measured visual fixation patterns to both naturalistic and ambiguous social(More)
OBJECTIVE To examine patterns of variability in social visual engagement and their relationship to standardized measures of social disability in a heterogeneous sample of school-aged children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). METHOD Eye-tracking measures of visual fixation during free-viewing of dynamic social scenes were obtained for 109 children(More)
The weak central coherence (WCC) account of autism characterizes the learning style of individuals with this condition as favoring localized and fragmented (to the detriment of global and integrative) processing of information. This pattern of learning is thought to lead to deficits in aspects of perception (e.g., face processing), cognition, and(More)
Deficits in eye contact have been a hallmark of autism 1,2 since the condition's initial description 3. They are cited widely as a diagnostic feature 4 and figure prominently in clinical instruments 5 ; however, the early onset of these deficits has not been known. Here we show in a prospective longitudinal study that infants later diagnosed with autism(More)