Face-to-face interactions and the use of gaze in autism spectrum disorders

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dc.contributor.advisor Ryan, Christian en
dc.contributor.advisor Chan, Jason en
dc.contributor.author Ross, Alasdair Iain
dc.date.accessioned 2020-09-10T11:16:25Z
dc.date.available 2020-09-10T11:16:25Z
dc.date.issued 2020-05-06
dc.date.submitted 2020-05-06
dc.identifier.citation Ross, A. I. 2020. Face-to-face interactions and the use of gaze in autism spectrum disorders. DClinPsych Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.endpage 140 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/10505
dc.description.abstract Study 1, Abstract - Background: Previous findings from computer-based stimuli have indicated a reduced number of fixations towards the eyes, in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This has been thought to contribute to wider social and emotional difficulties. However, it is unclear whether the reported deficits in gaze can be generalised to real-world interactions. Method: A systematic review was conducted on studies that explored the use of gaze during face-to-face interactions with individuals who have ASD. The search covered the EBSCO, Scopus and Web of Science databases. In total fourteen studies were included: ten contained participants who were children and adolescents, and four studies contained adult participants. Results: The majority of studies found little or no overall difference between ASD and comparison groups in the amount of gaze directed towards an interaction partner’s face. Only one of the included studies found a significantly reduced preference for fixations towards the eyes as compared to other areas of the face. Nevertheless, neuro-typical (NT) participants were found to consistently increase fixation duration towards an interaction partner whilst listening as compared to speaking, such consistency was not found for participants with ASD. Conclusion: The results were discussed in relation to current hypotheses regarding the use of gaze in ASD (e.g. gaze aversion, a lack of automatic motivational process, low social motivation) and whether the lack of group differences was driven by individual differences. Recommendations for future studies are proposed. Study 2, Abstract - Social and emotional difficulties in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have been linked to differences in the use of social attention as compared to neurotypical (NT) individuals. Much of the evidence for this assertion has stemmed from studies that have used two-dimensional stimuli and eye-tracking (e.g. static images of faces, videos of social scenes). To date, a small number of studies have attempted to investigate the use of gaze by ASD and NT individuals during face-to-face interactions. Using eye-tracking with ten ASD participants and ten NT participants, this study investigated how eye contact was used during a conversation that covered three topics (holidays, preferred mode of transport, and hobbies). In line with recent findings we found that both groups adjusted their total proportion of fixation duration on the eyes depending on whether they were speaking or listening during the interaction. However, the ASD group were found to have an overall lower total fixation duration, made fewer fixations towards the eyes, but were more consistent in their time to make a first fixation on the eyes as compared to the NT group. This study provides a snapshot of how social attention and eye contact is utilised by adults with ASD, offering a number of new avenues for future investigation. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2020, Alasdair Iain Ross. en
dc.rights.uri https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ en
dc.subject Autsim en
dc.subject ASD en
dc.subject Eye-tracking en
dc.subject Social interaction en
dc.subject Face-to-face en
dc.subject Eye contact en
dc.subject Gaze en
dc.title Face-to-face interactions and the use of gaze in autism spectrum disorders en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Practitioner Doctorate en
dc.type.qualificationname DClinPsych - Doctor of Clinical Psychology en
dc.internal.availability Full text not available en
dc.description.version Accepted Version en
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en
dc.internal.school Applied Psychology en
dc.internal.conferring Autumn 2020 en
dc.availability.bitstream embargoed
dc.check.date 2021-08-24


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© 2020, Alasdair Iain Ross. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2020, Alasdair Iain Ross.
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