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Analysis of face gaze in autism using “Bubbles”

Spezio, Michael L. and Adolphs, Ralph and Hurley, Robert S. E. and Piven, Joseph (2007) Analysis of face gaze in autism using “Bubbles”. Neuropsychologia, 45 (1). pp. 144-151. ISSN 0028-3932. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2006.04.027.

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One of the components of abnormal social functioning in autism is an impaired ability to direct eye gaze onto other people's faces in social situations. Here, we investigated the relationship between gaze onto the eye and mouth regions of faces, and the visual information that was present within those regions. We used the “Bubbles” method to vary the facial information available on any given trial by revealing only small parts of the face, and measured the eye movements made as participants viewed these stimuli. Compared to ten IQ- and age-matched healthy controls, eight participants with autism showed less fixation specificity to the eyes and mouth, a greater tendency to saccade away from the eyes when information was present in those regions, and abnormal directionality of saccades. The findings provide novel detail to the abnormal way in which people with autism look at faces, an impairment that likely influences all subsequent face processing.

Item Type:Article
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Adolphs, Ralph0000-0002-8053-9692
Additional Information:© 2006 Elsevier Ltd. Available online 7 July 2006. The authors would like to thank the participants and their families for making this study possible, Dr. Frédéric Gosselin for helpful advice in using the “Bubbles” method, and Dr. Fulvia Castelli for helpful comments. We gratefully acknowledge the support of NIMH STAART Center funding and a grant from the Cure Autism Now Foundation.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)UNSPECIFIED
Cure Autism Now FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Social cognition; Emotion; Autism; HFA; Eyetracking; Facial information
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170208-142304684
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Official Citation:Michael L. Spezio, Ralph Adolphs, Robert S.E. Hurley, Joseph Piven, Analysis of face gaze in autism using “Bubbles”, Neuropsychologia, Volume 45, Issue 1, 2007, Pages 144-151, ISSN 0028-3932, (//
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:74167
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Feb 2017 23:30
Last Modified:11 Nov 2021 05:25

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