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How Attention to Faces and Objects Changes Over Time in Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Preliminary Evidence from An Eye Tracking Study

1
Department of Developmental Neuroscience, IRCCS Fondazione Stella Maris, 56128 Calambrone, PI, Italy
2
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, 56128 Calambrone, PI, Italy
3
Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Research Council of Italy (CNR), 56128 Calambrone, PI, Italy
4
Programma Interdipartimentale “Autismo 0–90”, A.O.U. Policlinico G. Martino, 98124 Messina, ME, Italy
5
Stella Maris Mediterraneo Foundation, 85032 Chiaromonte, PZ, Italy
6
Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
F.M. and L.B. contributed equally to this work as joint first authors.
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(12), 344; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9120344
Received: 29 October 2019 / Revised: 21 November 2019 / Accepted: 26 November 2019 / Published: 27 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Autism Research)
Further understanding of the longitudinal changes in visual pattern of toddlers with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) is needed. We examined twelve 19 to 33-month-old toddlers at their first diagnosis (mean age: 25.1 months) and after six months (mean age: 31.7 months) during two initiating joint attention (IJA) tasks using eye tracking. Results were compared with the performance of age-matched typically developing (TD) toddlers evaluated at a single time-point. Autistic toddlers showed longitudinal changes in the visual sensory processing of the IJA tasks, approaching TD performance with an improvement in the ability to disengage and to explore the global space. Findings suggest the use of eye tracking technology as an objective, non-intrusive, adjunctive tool to measure outcomes in toddlers with ASD. View Full-Text
Keywords: autism spectrum disorders; toddlers; eye tracking; joint attention; longitudinal autism spectrum disorders; toddlers; eye tracking; joint attention; longitudinal
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MDPI and ACS Style

Muratori, F.; Billeci, L.; Calderoni, S.; Boncoddo, M.; Lattarulo, C.; Costanzo, V.; Turi, M.; Colombi, C.; Narzisi, A. How Attention to Faces and Objects Changes Over Time in Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Preliminary Evidence from An Eye Tracking Study. Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 344.

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