Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 38, Issue 9, pp 1666–1675

The Role of Face Familiarity in Eye Tracking of Faces by Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Lindsey Sterling
  • Geraldine Dawson
  • Sara Webb
  • Michael Murias
  • Jeffrey Munson
  • Heracles Panagiotides
  • Elizabeth Aylward
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-008-0550-1

Cite this article as:
Sterling, L., Dawson, G., Webb, S. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2008) 38: 1666. doi:10.1007/s10803-008-0550-1

Abstract

It has been shown that individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) demonstrate normal activation in the fusiform gyrus when viewing familiar, but not unfamiliar faces. The current study utilized eye tracking to investigate patterns of attention underlying familiar versus unfamiliar face processing in ASD. Eye movements of 18 typically developing participants and 17 individuals with ASD were recorded while passively viewing three face categories: unfamiliar non-repeating faces, a repeating highly familiar face, and a repeating previously unfamiliar face. Results suggest that individuals with ASD do not exhibit more normative gaze patterns when viewing familiar faces. A second task assessed facial recognition accuracy and response time for familiar and novel faces. The groups did not differ on accuracy or reaction times.

Keywords

Eye trackingAutism spectrum disorderFace processingFamiliar faceAttention

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lindsey Sterling
    • 1
  • Geraldine Dawson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sara Webb
    • 2
  • Michael Murias
    • 2
  • Jeffrey Munson
    • 2
  • Heracles Panagiotides
    • 3
  • Elizabeth Aylward
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, University of Washington Autism CenterUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington Autism CenterUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.University of Washington Autism CenterUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  4. 4.Department of Radiology, University of Washington Autism CenterUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA