Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10316/104569
Title: Social Attention Deficits in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Task Dependence of Objects vs. Faces Observation Bias
Authors: Mouga, Susana 
Castelhano, João 
Café, Cátia 
Sousa, Daniela 
Duque, Frederico 
Oliveira, Guiomar 
Castelo-Branco, Miguel 
Keywords: autism spectrum disorder; social attention; eye-tracking; attentional bia; autism diagnostic observation schedule
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
Project: PAC MEDPERSYST POCI-01-0145- FEDER-016428 
CONNECT-BCI, POCI-01-0145-FEDER-30852 
FCT/UID/4950/2020 
DSAIPA/DS/0041/2020 
SFRH/BD/102779/2014 
CENTRO-01-0145- FEDER-000016 
Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD) Life Sciences 
Serial title, monograph or event: Frontiers in Psychiatry
Volume: 12
Abstract: Social attention deficits represent a central impairment of patients suffering from autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but the nature of such deficits remains controversial. We compared visual attention regarding social (faces) vs. non-social stimuli (objects), in an ecological diagnostic context, in 46 children and adolescents divided in two groups: ASD (N = 23) and typical neurodevelopment (TD) (N = 23), matched for chronological age and intellectual performance. Eye-tracking measures of visual scanning, while exploring and describing scenes from three different tasks from the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), were analyzed: "Description of a Picture," "Cartoons," and "Telling a Story from a Book." Our analyses revealed a three-way interaction between Group, Task, and Social vs. Object Stimuli. We found a striking main effect of group and a task dependence of attentional allocation: while the TD attended first and longer to faces, ASD participants became similar to TD when they were asked to look at pictures while telling a story. Our results suggest that social attention allocation is task dependent, raising the question whether spontaneous attention deficits can be rescued by guiding goal-directed actions.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10316/104569
ISSN: 1664-0640
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.640599
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CIBIT - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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