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Gaze behavior in autism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 October 2008

Fred R. Volkmar*
Child Study Center, Yale University
Linda C. Mayes
Child Study Center, Yale University
Address reprint requests to: Dr. Volkmar, Yale Child Study Center, P.O. Box 3333, New Haven, CT 06510.


Gaze behavior was assessed in 20 autistic individuels and in an age- and mental-age-matched mentally retarded control group. A time-sample technique was used to collect frequency of gaze directed at staff, at task, and elsewhere (at other) in familiar educational settings as subjects interacted with familiar staff and engaged in familiar educational activities. Gaze behaviors were sampled in each of three interactional conditions defined by staff-subject ratio. Significant effects of the intensity of the interactional condition were observed for both groups. Overall autistic subjects were more likely to look elsewhere than the matched control cases and looked less at staff during one-to-one interaction. Relationships to age, developmental level, and other measures are discussed.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1990

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