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The eye gaze direction of an observed person can bias perception, memory, and attention in adolescents with and without autism spectrum disorder

Freeth, M., Ropar, D., Chapman, P. and Mitchell, P. (2010) The eye gaze direction of an observed person can bias perception, memory, and attention in adolescents with and without autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 105 (1-2). pp. 20-37. ISSN 0022-0965

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Abstract

The reported experiments aimed to investigate whether a person and his or her gaze direction presented in the context of a naturalistic scene cause perception, memory, and attention to be biased in typically developing adolescents and high-functioning adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A novel computerized image manipulation program presented a series of photographic scenes, each containing a person. The program enabled participants to laterally maneuver the scenes behind a static window, the borders of which partially occluded the scenes. The gaze direction of the person in the scenes spontaneously cued attention of both groups in the direction of gaze, affecting judgments of preference (Experiment 1a) and causing memory biases (Experiment 1b). Experiment 2 showed that the gaze direction of a person cues visual search accurately to the exact location of gaze in both groups. These findings suggest that biases in preference, memory, and attention are caused by another person's gaze direction when viewed in a complex scene in adolescents with and without ASD (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2010 Elsevier. This is an author produced version of a paper subsequently published in Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder; Gaze direction; Scene preference; Memory bias; Attention; Change blindness
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Department of Psychology (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Miss Anthea Tucker
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2010 10:05
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 16:59
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2009.10.001
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jecp.2009.10.001
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10324

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