Traitement de l’information faciale des enfants avec troubles du spectre autistique et des enfants au développement typique : un traitement particulier des faces animales ?

Abstract : Face processing impairment is associated with social interaction disorders observed in autism spectrum disorders (ASD), such as children with ASD explore human eyes less than do neurotypical (NT) children. In a communicative situation, each partner uses signals emitted by the other (e.g. postures, gestures or gaze directions) to collect information to adjust their behaviour, in both humanhuman or human-animal interactions. Indeed, animals are part of humans’ environment and present numerous benefits. Thus, given the strong bonding between ASD children and animals, we hypothesized that animal face processing by people with ASD would be typical. Our study compared the patterns of fixation of ASD (n=12) and NT (n=18) children recorded while exploring human and animal (horse, dog, and cat) faces in a passive viewing task using an eye tracking technique. Our results, using animal pictures, confirmed that the eyes were the part of the face explored the longest by NT children and, to a lesser extent, by ASD children, but only NT children looked at the eyes of human pictures longer than other parts. Implications for understanding social interaction impairment related to ASD are discussed.
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Marine Grandgeorge, Céline Degrez, Zarrin Alavi, Eric Lemonnier. Traitement de l’information faciale des enfants avec troubles du spectre autistique et des enfants au développement typique : un traitement particulier des faces animales ?. Bulletin Scientifique de l'ARAPI, Massy : ARAPI 2016, 37, pp.43-50. ⟨hal-01931392⟩

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