Gaze aversion during social style interactions in autism spectrum disorder and Williams syndrome

Doherty-Sneddon, Gwyneth, Whittle, Lisa and Riby, Deborah (2013) Gaze aversion during social style interactions in autism spectrum disorder and Williams syndrome. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34 (1). pp. 616-626. ISSN 0891-4222

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2012.09.022

Abstract

During face-to-face interactions typically developing individuals use gaze aversion (GA), away from their questioner, when thinking. GA is also used when individuals with autism (ASD) and Williams syndrome (WS) are thinking during question-answer interactions. We investigated GA strategies during face-to-face social style interactions with familiar and unfamiliar interlocutors. Participants with WS and ASD used overall typical amounts/patterns of GA with all participants looking away most while thinking and remembering (in contrast to listening and speaking). However there were a couple of specific disorder related differences: participants with WS looked away less when thinking and interacting with unfamiliar interlocutors; in typical development and WS familiarity was associated with reduced gaze aversion, however no such difference was evident in ASD. Results inform typical/atypical social and cognitive phenotypes. We conclude that gaze aversion serves some common functions in typical and atypical development in terms of managing the cognitive and social load of interactions. There are some specific idiosyncracies associated with managing familiarity in ASD and WS with elevated sociability with unfamiliar others in WS and a lack of differentiation to interlocutor familiarity in ASD. Regardless of the familiarity of the interlocutor, GA is associated with thinking for typically developing as well as atypically developing groups. Social skills training must take this into account.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: eye contact, gaze, Williams syndrome, gaze aversion, autism spectrum disorder
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Ellen Cole
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2012 11:17
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2017 11:33
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/10751

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics


Policies: NRL Policies | NRL University Deposit Policy | NRL Deposit Licence