Eye tracking young children with autism

March 27, 2012, The Journal of Visualized Experiments

Though the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been steadily climbing— from 6 in 1,000 children in 2002, to nearly 10 in 1,000 children in 2006, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention— little is known about the disorder. But, research with young kids can lead to important insights in how children with developmental abnormalities view the world. This month in the Journal of Visualized Experiments, researchers demonstrate how to use eye-tracking in very young children with autism.

"Generally, individuals new to this method often struggle, as eye-tracking with autism involves unique challenges that are not present when tracking typically-developing older children or adult population," said paper-author Dr. Noah Sasson.

Eye-tracking is one of the few quantifiable ways to study children with . It requires that children look at pictures on a screen— in this study, objects and faces— and the eye-tracking technology can record where a child is looking, when.

Dr. Sasson explains that though researchers have known for a long time about the social impairment that comes with autism, they are not sure if young children with autism are actually looking at faces differently, or ignoring faces all together.

To help other scientists who are interested in answering this question, Dr. Sasson published his methodology in JoVE, the only peer reviewed, PubMed-indexed science journal to publish all of its content in both text and video format.

"This article addresses an important topic," said JoVE Editor, Leiam Colbert. "There are challenges with research of this kind— both from the methodological and clinical perspectives. Less experienced researchers may or may not be aware of the difficulties inherent in eye-tracking children with . The need for standardisation of this type is great, to prevent the publication of spurious results, or wasting scarce research funds and participant time."

The video-article shows how Dr. Sasson sets up the lab with few distractions, so the children participating are more likely to focus on the eye-tracking screen and how cartoons and moving images with sounds are useful ways to get children to refocus their attention on the screen.

"I think visually seeing the lab, visually seeing the child and how to conduct the test is important," said Dr. Sasson. "I think this will be a very helpful resource."

Explore further: Eye-tracking reveals variability in successful social strategies for children with autism

More information: To watch the full video-article, please follow the link: www.jove.com/video/3675/eye-tr … children-with-autism

Related Stories

Eye-tracking reveals variability in successful social strategies for children with autism

February 27, 2012
In a study published in the March 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Katherine Rice and colleagues, from the Marcus Autism Center, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and Emory ...

Study compares traits of autism, schizophrenia

February 27, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- A UT Dallas professor is studying the differences between the social impairments found in autism and schizophrenia to help develop better treatments for people with both disorders.

Earlier autism diagnosis could mean earlier interventions

October 13, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Autism is normally diagnosed between the ages of 2 and 3. But new research is finding symptoms of autism spectrum disorders in babies as young as 12 months. If children could be diagnosed earlier, it might ...

Recommended for you

Epigenetics study helps focus search for autism risk factors

January 16, 2018
Scientists have long tried to pin down the causes of autism spectrum disorder. Recent studies have expanded the search for genetic links from identifying genes toward epigenetics, the study of factors that control gene expression ...

Being bilingual may help autistic children

January 16, 2018
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) often have a hard time switching gears from one task to another. But being bilingual may actually make it a bit easier for them to do so, according to a new study which was recently ...

No rise in autism in US in past three years: study

January 2, 2018
After more than a decade of steady increases in the rate of children diagnosed with autism in the United States, the rate has plateaued in the past three years, researchers said Tuesday.

Autism therapy: Brain stimulation restores social behavior in mice

December 13, 2017
Scientists are examining the feasibility of treating autistic children with neuromodulation after a new study showed social impairments can be corrected by brain stimulation.

Social phobia linked to autism and schizophrenia

December 11, 2017
New Swinburne research shows that people who find social situations difficult tend to have similar brain responses to those with schizophrenia or autism.

Odors that carry social cues seem to affect volunteers on the autism spectrum differently

November 27, 2017
Autism typically involves the inability to read social cues. We most often associate this with visual difficulty in interpreting facial expression, but new research at the Weizmann Institute of Science suggests that the sense ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.