Responding to Other Peopleâ€™s Direct Gaze: Alterations in Gaze Behavior in Infants at Risk for Autism Occur on Very Short Timescales
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Â© 2017, The Author(s). Atypical gaze processing has been reported in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Here we explored how infants at risk for ASD respond behaviorally to othersâ€™ direct gaze. We assessed 10-month-olds with a sibling with ASD (high risk group; n = 61) and a control group (n = 18) during interaction with an adult. Eye-tracking revealed less looking at the adult in the high risk group during 300â€“1000Â ms after the adult initiated direct gaze: a short alteration that is likely to go unnoticed by the naked eye. Data aggregated over longer segments (the traditional eye-tracking approach) showed no group differences. Although findings are limited by lack of outcome data, they are in line with theories linking atypical eye processing to the emergence of ASD.
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