Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 401–408 | Cite as

Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Do Not Preferentially Attend to Biological Motion

  • Dagmara Annaz
  • Ruth Campbell
  • Mike Coleman
  • Elizabeth Milne
  • John Swettenham
Original Paper

Abstract

Preferential attention to biological motion can be seen in typically developing infants in the first few days of life and is thought to be an important precursor in the development of social communication. We examined whether children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) aged 3–7 years preferentially attend to point-light displays depicting biological motion. We found that children with ASD did not preferentially attend to biological motion over phase-scrambled motion, but did preferentially attend to a point-light display of a spinning top rather than a human walker. In contrast a neurotypical matched control group preferentially attended to the human, biological motion in both conditions. The results suggest a core deficit in attending to biological motion in ASD.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorder Social stimuli Attention Biological motion 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dagmara Annaz
    • 1
  • Ruth Campbell
    • 2
  • Mike Coleman
    • 1
  • Elizabeth Milne
    • 3
  • John Swettenham
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Psychology and Language Science, Department of Developmental SciencesUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Division of Psychology and Language Science, Department of Human Communication Science, Deafness, Cognition and Language Research CentreUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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