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To investigate how people with Autism are affected by the presence of goals during imitation, we conducted a study to measure movement kinematics and eye movements during the imitation of goal-directed and goal-less hand movements. Our results showed that a control group imitated changes in movement kinematics and increased the level that they tracked the hand with their eyes, in the goal-less compared to goal-direction condition. In contrast, the ASD group exhibited more goal-directed eye movements, and failed to modulate the observed movement kinematics successfully in either condition. These results increase the evidence for impaired goal-less imitation in ASD, and suggest that there is a reliance on goal-directed strategies for imitation in ASD, even in the absence of visual goals.
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- Goal-Directed and Goal-Less Imitation in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Kelly S. Wild
- Springer US