Eye-Tracking Measurements of Language Processing: Developmental Differences in Children at High Risk for ASD

Meia Chita-Tegmark, Sudha Arunachalam, Charles A. Nelson, Helen Tager-Flusberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To explore how being at high risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), based on having an older sibling diagnosed with ASD, affects word comprehension and language processing speed, 18-, 24- and 36-month-old children, at high and low risk for ASD were tested in a cross- sectional study, on an eye gaze measure of receptive language that measured how accurately and rapidly the children looked at named target images. There were no significant differences between the high risk ASD group and the low risk control group of 18- and 24-month-olds. However, 36-month-olds in the high risk for ASD group performed significantly worse on the accuracy measure, but not on the speed measure. We propose that the language processing efficiency of the high risk group is not compromised, but other vocabulary acquisition factors might have lead to the high risk 36-month-olds to comprehend significantly fewer nouns on our measure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3327-3338
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume45
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 22 2015

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Development
  • Eye tracking
  • Processing speed
  • Word comprehension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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