Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Abnormal Face Processing In Toddlers With Autism And Developmental Delays

Date:
May 4, 2007
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Toddlers with autism spectrum disorders often have difficulty focusing on people's faces and making eye contact, but a new study by Yale School of Medicine researchers found that these same toddlers do not have difficulty looking at photographs of faces.

Toddlers with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often have difficulty focusing on people's faces and making eye contact, but a new study by Yale School of Medicine researchers found that these same toddlers do not have difficulty looking at photographs of faces.

Related Articles


The researchers, led by Yale Child Study Center Assistant Professor Katarzyna Chawarska, will present their work at the International Meeting for Autism Research May 3-5 in Seattle, Washington, also found that toddlers with ASD spend most of the time examining the eyes.

"This is a surprising finding, given that avoiding eye contact is one of the classic hallmarks of autism," said Chawarska. "The results are preliminary and will require further replication and extension, but they suggest that pictures of faces and eyes are, by themselves, neither inherently unattractive nor inherently aversive to toddlers with ASD. Therefore, the limited attention to faces and eyes observed in natural settings may be due to the fact that faces don't stand out to them as much as other objects in the environment. There also may be heightened arousal related to the complex social and perceptual context in which faces usually occur."

The study examined visual scanning patterns and recognition of faces and abstract patterns in toddlers. The data were collected through an eye-tracking system. Chawarska said toddlers with ASD and developmental delays were impaired when recognizing faces they had seen previously.

"When given time to familiarize with a picture of a face, both groups spent more time looking at the outside features of the face, such as the hair, ears and the neck compared to the their typically developing peers," said Chawarska. "It is therefore likely that toddlers with disabilities were having a harder time encoding information regarding facial identity because they were simply looking less at facial features, which are of greatest help in extracting this type of information. We also found it interesting that those toddlers with ASD who adopted a pattern of looking at faces which closely resembled the pattern of typical toddlers, were less socially impaired and were also better at face recognition."

Chawarska said that the next step is to closely examine the spatial and temporal characteristic of the children's visual scanning patterns. "While typical and developmentally delayed toddlers move quickly between various inner elements of the face, scanning rapidly between the left and right eye, toddlers with ASD tend to look longer at specific facial features than other children, which might signify an idiosyncratic approach to face processing specific to ASD in early development," said Chawarska.

Other authors on the study included Frederick Shic, Ami Klin and Fred Volkmar.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Abnormal Face Processing In Toddlers With Autism And Developmental Delays." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070503135415.htm>.
Yale University. (2007, May 4). Abnormal Face Processing In Toddlers With Autism And Developmental Delays. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070503135415.htm
Yale University. "Abnormal Face Processing In Toddlers With Autism And Developmental Delays." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070503135415.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins