Presentation Title

Infants Prefer Social Images over Shapes in the First Year of Life

Advisor Information

Anastasia Kyvelidou

Location

UNO Criss Library, Room 231

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

4-3-2016 2:30 PM

End Date

4-3-2016 2:45 PM

Abstract

The increasing occurrence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) creates a crucial need for clinicians to identify ASD-related deficits as early as possible. Currently, the typical age of diagnosis is around three years of age. However, signs of atypical behavior have been documented retrospectively by parents earlier than this three-year mark. A very simple method, known as the preference looking paradigm, has been utilized successfully in toddlers as young as 14 months for assessing ASD, but it has not been tested in infants. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the gaze behavior in low-risk infants and infants at-risk for ASD at three, six, nine, and 12 months of age. Identifying early preferential looking differences in infants may allow for an increased understanding of the underlying visual processes, the development of an early detection paradigm for autism, and the advancement of foundational knowledge from which treatments for autism may be developed. Ten low-risk infants and one high-risk infant were examined in this study. An infant was defined as high-risk if he/she had a sibling with autism. Each infant was shown a preferential looking paradigm with social and geometric images presented side-by-side. Results showed that both low- and high-risk infants showed a preference for social images. Even though these preliminary results do not confirm our initial hypothesis, it is possible that even high-risk infants do not perceive the social information from those images as do typically developing infants. Further research in this area is needed to verify these findings.

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Mar 4th, 2:30 PM Mar 4th, 2:45 PM

Infants Prefer Social Images over Shapes in the First Year of Life

UNO Criss Library, Room 231

The increasing occurrence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) creates a crucial need for clinicians to identify ASD-related deficits as early as possible. Currently, the typical age of diagnosis is around three years of age. However, signs of atypical behavior have been documented retrospectively by parents earlier than this three-year mark. A very simple method, known as the preference looking paradigm, has been utilized successfully in toddlers as young as 14 months for assessing ASD, but it has not been tested in infants. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the gaze behavior in low-risk infants and infants at-risk for ASD at three, six, nine, and 12 months of age. Identifying early preferential looking differences in infants may allow for an increased understanding of the underlying visual processes, the development of an early detection paradigm for autism, and the advancement of foundational knowledge from which treatments for autism may be developed. Ten low-risk infants and one high-risk infant were examined in this study. An infant was defined as high-risk if he/she had a sibling with autism. Each infant was shown a preferential looking paradigm with social and geometric images presented side-by-side. Results showed that both low- and high-risk infants showed a preference for social images. Even though these preliminary results do not confirm our initial hypothesis, it is possible that even high-risk infants do not perceive the social information from those images as do typically developing infants. Further research in this area is needed to verify these findings.