Indifference to Chaotic Motion May Be Related to Social Disinterest in Children With Autism

Joshua Haworth, Kennedy Krieger Institute
Anastasia Kyvelidou, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Wayne Fisher, University of Nebraska Medical Center
Nicholas Stergiou, University of Nebraska at Omaha

© 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.


Children with autism spectrum disorder tend to have little interest in the presence, actions, and motives of other persons. In addition, these children tend to present with a limited and overly redundant movement repertoire, often expressing hyperfixation and aversion to novelty. We explore whether this is related to a more fundamental lack of appreciation for various temporal dynamics, including periodic, chaotic, and aperiodic motion structures. Seven children with ASD (age, gender, and height matched with children without ASD) were asked to stand and watch the motion of a visual stimulus displayed on a large (55”) video monitor. Gaze and posture movements were recorded and assessed using cross recurrence quantification analysis for qualities of coordination, including rate and duration of bouts of coordination. Results showed that children with ASD do not express an affinity to chaotic motion of the stimulus in the same way as children without ASD. We contend that this indifference to chaotic motion is foundational to their general disinterest in biological motion.


Funded by the University of Nebraska at Omaha Open Access Fund