Attention control in autism: Eye-tracking findings from preschool children in a low- and middle-income country setting

Lockwood Estrin, Georgia, Mason, Luke, Bhavnani, Supriya, Gulati, Sheffali, Gliga, Teodora and Johnson, Mark H. (2023) Attention control in autism: Eye-tracking findings from preschool children in a low- and middle-income country setting. Autism. ISSN 1362-3613

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Abstract

Alterations in the development of attention control and learning have been associated with autism and can be measured using the ‘antisaccade task’, which assesses a child’s ability to make an oculomotor response away from a distracting stimulus, and learn to instead anticipate a later reward. We aimed to assess these cognitive processes using portable eye-tracking in an understudied population of pre-school children with and without a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in community settings in New Delhi, India. The eye-tracking antisaccade task was presented to children in three groups (n=104) (children with a clinical diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder or intellectual disability and children meeting developmental milestones). In accordance with findings from high-income, laboratory- based environments, children learnt to anticipate looks towards a reward, as well as inhibit eye-movements towards a distractor stimulus. We also provide novel evidence that while differences in inhibition responses might be applicable to multiple developmental conditions, a reduced learning to anticipate looks towards a target in this age group may be specific to autism. This eye-tracking task may, therefore, have the potential to identify and assess autism specific traits across development, and be used in longitudinal research studies such as investigating response to intervention in low-resource settings.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was funded by the Wellcome Trust (204706/Z/16/Z). For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any author-accepted manuscript version arising from this submission.
Uncontrolled Keywords: autism spectrum disorders,cognition (attention, learning, memory),development,pre-school children,developmental and educational psychology ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3200/3204
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2023 10:30
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2023 10:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/91635
DOI: 10.1177/13623613221149541

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