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Associations Between Language Development and Skin Conductance Responses to Faces and Eye Gaze in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Abstract

Attention to social stimuli is associated with language development, and arousal is associated with the increased viewing of stimuli. We investigated whether skin conductance responses (SCRs) are associated with language development in autism spectrum disorder (ASD): a population that shows abnormalities in both attention to others and language development. A sample of 32 children with ASD (7–15 year; M = 9 year) was divided into two groups, based on language onset histories. A typically developing comparison group consisted of 18 age and IQ matched children. SCRs were taken as the participants viewed faces. SCRs differentiated the ASD group based on language onset and were associated with abnormal attention to gaze in infancy and subsequent language development.

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Stagg, S.D., Davis, R. & Heaton, P. Associations Between Language Development and Skin Conductance Responses to Faces and Eye Gaze in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord 43, 2303–2311 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-013-1780-4

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Keywords

  • Language delay
  • Galvanic skin response
  • Language onset
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Faces
  • Eye-gaze