Developmental and Social Cognitive Neuroscience Seminar (Speaker: Hayley Crawford)

Frankland 309b
Life and Environmental Sciences, Research
Monday 8th December 2014 (13:00-14:00)
Download the date to your calendar (.ics file)

Visual attention to social versus non-social stimuli in atypical development

Part of the Social Cognitive Neuroscience Seminar Series

Speaker: Hayley Crawford (Coventry University and University of Birmingham)

Recent research has converged to identify differences in relative attention to competing social versus non-social video stimuli as a putative diagnostic marker for autism spectrum disorders. Here, we employ competing pairs of social and non-social video stimuli in directed and non-directed formats to children with autism versus matched controls and, consistent with previous studies, find reduced attention to social versus non-social videos during the directed condition.

We then employ this same paradigm with individuals with three genetic syndromes with differing social phenotypes:  Fragile X Syndrome, Cornelia de Lange Syndrome, and Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome. Here, we find distinct patterns in durations to fixate to directed versus non-directed social stimuli consistent with the three social phenotypes.  

Taken together, these results provide strong evidence to suggest that visual attention to competing social versus non-social video stimuli is a robust marker for clinically-relevant, genetically mediated differences in social phenotypes.