A cross-cultural study showing deficits in gaze-language coordination during rapid automatized naming among individuals with ASD

Kritika Nayar, Xin Kang, Jiayin Xing, Peter C. Gordon, Patrick C.M. Wong, Molly Losh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their first-degree relatives demonstrate automaticity deficits reflected in reduced eye-voice coordination during rapid automatized naming (RAN), suggesting that RAN deficits may be a genetically meaningful marker of ASD language-related impairments. This study investigated whether RAN deficits in ASD extend to a language typologically distinct from English. Participants included 23 Cantonese-speaking individuals with ASD and 39 controls from Hong Kong (HK), and age- and IQ-comparable groups of previously-studied English-speaking individuals with ASD (n = 45) and controls (n = 44) from the US. Participants completed RAN on an eye tracker. Analyses examined naming time, error rate, measures of eye movement reflecting language automaticity, including eye-voice span (EVS; location of eyes versus the named item) and refixations. The HK-ASD group exhibited longer naming times and more refixations than HK-Controls, in a pattern similar to that observed in the US-ASD group. Cultural effects revealed that both HK groups showed longer EVS and more fixations than US groups. Naming time and refixation differences may be ASD-specific impairments spanning cultures/languages, whereas EVS and fixation frequency may be more variably impacted. A potential underlying mechanism of visual “stickiness” may be contributing to this breakdown in language automaticity in ASD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13401
JournalScientific reports
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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