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Children with Autism show Atypical Preference for Non-social Stimuli
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Number of Authors: 32019 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 9, article id 10355Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present investigation describes three studies testing the hypothesis that children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) show an atypical preference for non-social stimuli. Preference for non-social and social stimuli was assessed using applications on a portable tablet computer. Twenty-eight children with ASD were matched on developmental age with the chronological age of 41 typically developing (TD) children. The non-social stimuli consisted of six different films of abstract moving geometric patterns. Social stimuli were six different films of the face of young adults (Study 1 and 3) or six films of different dogs' faces (Study 2). When given a choice between the non-social and social stimuli, children with ASD preferred the non-social stimuli. When the human faces were replaced with dogs' faces the participants with ASD continued to prefer the non-social stimuli. A high reinforcement value of non-social stimuli was also demonstrated when the non-social stimuli were presented alone, suggesting the preference for the non-social stimuli was not simply an avoidance of social stimuli. Whenever an infant prefers non-social stimuli over social stimuli, non-typical development in social communication and social interests may result, together with the development of high levels and frequently occurring stereotyped and repetitive behavior. These behaviors define Autism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 9, article id 10355
National Category
Psychology Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-171664DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-46705-8ISI: 000475832500030PubMedID: 31316161OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-171664DiVA, id: diva2:1344632
Available from: 2019-08-21 Created: 2019-08-21 Last updated: 2019-08-21Bibliographically approved

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