The development of face orienting mechanisms in infants at-risk for autism

Elsabbagh, Mayada, Gliga, Teodora, Pickles, Andrew, Hudry, Kristelle, Charman, Tony and Johnson, Mark H. and The BASIS Team (2013) The development of face orienting mechanisms in infants at-risk for autism. Behavioural Brain Research, 251. pp. 147-154. ISSN 0166-4328

Full text not available from this repository.


A popular idea related to early brain development in autism is that a lack of attention to, or interest in, social stimuli early in life interferes with the emergence of social brain networks mediating the typical development of socio-communicative skills. Compelling as it is, this developmental account has proved difficult to verify empirically because autism is typically diagnosed in toddlerhood, after this process of brain specialization is well underway. Using a prospective study, we directly tested the integrity of social orienting mechanisms in infants at-risk for autism by virtue of having an older diagnosed sibling. Contrary to previous accounts, infants who later develop autism exhibit a clear orienting response to faces that are embedded within an array of distractors. Nevertheless, infants at-risk for autism as a group, and irrespective of their subsequent outcomes, had a greater tendency to select and sustain attention to faces. This pattern suggests that interactions among multiple social and attentional brain systems over the first two years give rise to variable pathways in infants at-risk.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: We are very grateful for the enormous contributions BASIS families have made towards this study. The research is supported by the UK Medical Research Council (G0701484) and the BASIS funding consortium led by Autistica ( ) to M.H. Johnson. Further support for some of the authors is from COST action BM1004.
Uncontrolled Keywords: at-risk,attention,autism,face-processing,infancy,prospective study,behavioral neuroscience ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2800/2802
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2024 18:30
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 18:30
DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2012.07.030

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item