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While it is well-known that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulties processing faces, very little is known about the origins of these deficits. The current study focused on 6- and 11-month-old infants who were at either high-risk (n = 43) or low-risk (n = 31) for developing ASD based on having a sibling already diagnosed with the disorder. Eye-tracking data were collected while the infants viewed color photographs of faces. Similar to previous studies with both typically developing adults and infants, low-risk infants demonstrated a preference for looking at the left side of the face (known as a left visual field bias) that emerged by 11 months of age. In contrast, high-risk infants did not demonstrate a left visual field bias at either age. Comparisons of the amount of attention given to the eye versus mouth regions indicated no differences between the two risk groups.
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- Left Visual Field Biases when Infants Process Faces: A Comparison of Infants at High- and Low-Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Mark S. Strauss
- Springer US