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Social Perception in Autism: An eye-tracking and pupillometric study
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Typically developing humans innately place subjective value on social informa- tion and orient attention to it. This can be shown through eye tracking and pupillometry, a method used to show attentional engagement. Social brain de- velopment and social preference is present from infancy, and is thought to rely on a carefully balanced network of neurotransmitters and neural connections. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) presents altered neural systems which cause individuals to perceive and process social information di↵erently, but the neuro- physiology of this di↵erence remains unclear. Previous research shows atypical gaze patterns, hyperarousal, and lack of orienting to social stimuli in ASD. Since autism is highly comorbid and shares traits with other neurodevelopmental dis- orders, it is dicult to distinguish aspects of these social processing di↵erences. This study used a group of 35 neuropsychiatric patients to investigate how in- dividuals with autism process social and non-social scenes. Eye tracking and pupillometry measures were collected while participants observed images of nat- ural scenes with or without a person. Participants with autism did not show a pupillary response to social images and were slower to fixate on the face re- gion than the other participants. Additionally there were correlations between clinical measures of social functioning and the length of time it took to fixate to faces. The results highlight important distinctions of social processing in autism. This thesis proposes a new perspective of looking at the social deficits present in autism spectrum disorder. It suggests reframing the current discus- sion from two leading hypotheses to a unified approach and formally considering the limitations of di↵ering types of stimuli.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 54
National Category
Behavioral Sciences Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-15558OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-15558DiVA, id: diva2:1217766
External cooperation
Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre
Subject / course
Cognitive Neuroscience
Educational program
Cognitive Neuroscience: Mind, Brain and Wellbeing - Master’s Programme
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-14 Created: 2018-06-13 Last updated: 2018-09-24Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf