The role of face familiarity in eye tracking of faces by individuals with autism spectrum disorders

Lindsey Sterling*, Geraldine Dawson, Sara Webb, Michael Andrew Murias, Jeffrey Munson, Heracles Panagiotides, Elizabeth Aylward

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Scopus citations

Abstract

It has been shown that individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) demonstrate normal activation in the fusiform gyrus when viewing familiar, but not unfamiliar faces. The current study utilized eye tracking to investigate patterns of attention underlying familiar versus unfamiliar face processing in ASD. Eye movements of 18 typically developing participants and 17 individuals with ASD were recorded while passively viewing three face categories: unfamiliar non-repeating faces, a repeating highly familiar face, and a repeating previously unfamiliar face. Results suggest that individuals with ASD do not exhibit more normative gaze patterns when viewing familiar faces. A second task assessed facial recognition accuracy and response time for familiar and novel faces. The groups did not differ on accuracy or reaction times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1666-1675
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume38
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2008

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Eye tracking
  • Face processing
  • Familiar face

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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