Date : 22nd of November 2013, 2:00PM until 3:00PM
Location : Australian Hearing Hub, 3.610, Macquarie University.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a term encompassing a range of developmental conditions principally characterised by impairments in social interaction, communication and cognitive flexibility. It remains unclear to what extent any social or cognitive difficulties experienced by people with ASD result from differences in sampling the environment, or differences in interpreting the information sampled, or both. In addition, perceptual and attentional atypicalities are observed in the disorder. Our current experiments have used eye-tracking methodology to explore these issues. Evidence from collaborative investigations on low-level eye-movement characteristics; perception of complex stimuli; and processing of and attention to social information suggests that simple information processing requirements across the different processing domains are intact in ASD, whereas more complex information processing requirements within the same processing domain are impaired. We emphasise the importance of using subtle eye movement metrics as a way of illustrating these group processing differences and explain how these findings link to contemporary theoretical accounts of autism.