Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 46, Issue 7, pp 2555–2560 | Cite as

Brief Report: Joint Attention and Information Processing in Children with Higher Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Peter Mundy
  • Kwanguk Kim
  • Nancy McIntyre
  • Lindsay Lerro
  • William Jarrold
Brief Report


Theory suggests that information processing during joint attention may be atypical in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This hypothesis was tested in a study of school-aged children with higher functioning ASD and groups of children with symptoms of ADHD or typical development. The results indicated that the control groups displayed significantly better recognition memory for pictures studied in an initiating joint attention (IJA) rather than responding to joint attention (RJA) condition. This effect was not evident in the ASD group. The ASD group also recognized fewer pictures from the IJA condition than controls, but not the RJA condition. Atypical information processing may be a marker of the continued effects of joint attention disturbance in school aged children with ASD.


Joint attention Information processing Social cognition Autism Spectrum Disorder 



This study was supported by National Institute of Mental Health Grant 1R21MH085904, Virtual Reality and Social Skills in Autism (P. Mundy, PI); Institute for Educational Sciences Grant IES R324A110174 (P. Mundy), Virtual Reality Applications for Attention and Learning in Children with Autism and ADHD; and the UC Davis Department of Psychiatry Lisa Capps Endowment for Research on Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Education.

Author Contribution

I would like to submit a brief paper titled, “Short Report Joint Attention and Stimulus Processing in Autism Spectrum Disorders”, for consideration for publication in J.A.D.D. The authors of the paper include: Peter Mundy, School of Education and the MIND Institute, UC Davis, Davis, CA, USA; Kwanguk Kim, School of Education, UC Davis, Davis, CA, USA; Nancy McIntyre, School of Education, UC Davis, Davis, CA, USA; Lindsay Lerro, School of Education, UC Davis, Davis, CA, USA; and William Jarrold, School of Education, UC Davis, Davis, CA, USA. Two of the authors have changed their affiliations since the completion of data collection for this study. Kwanguk Kim is now in the Engineering College, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea. William Jarrold is now at the Natural Language Understanding Laboratory, Nuance Communications, Sunnyvale, CA, USA.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

P. Mundy declares that he has no conflict of interest. K. Kim declares that he has no conflict of interest. N. McIntyre declares that she has no conflict of interest. L. Lerro declares that she has no conflict of interest. W. Jarrold declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Mundy
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kwanguk Kim
    • 3
  • Nancy McIntyre
    • 1
  • Lindsay Lerro
    • 1
  • William Jarrold
    • 4
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of California (UC) DavisDavisUSA
  2. 2.MIND InstituteUniversity of California (UC) DavisDavisUSA
  3. 3.Division of Computer and Software EngineeringHanyang UniversitySeoulKorea
  4. 4.Nuance Communications Inc.SunnyvaleUSA

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