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Gaze behavior in autism

  • Fred R. Volkmar (a1) and Linda C. Mayes (a1)


Gaze behavior was assessed in 20 autistic individuels and in an age- and mental-age-matched mentally retarded control group. A time-sample technique was used to collect frequency of gaze directed at staff, at task, and elsewhere (at other) in familiar educational settings as subjects interacted with familiar staff and engaged in familiar educational activities. Gaze behaviors were sampled in each of three interactional conditions defined by staff-subject ratio. Significant effects of the intensity of the interactional condition were observed for both groups. Overall autistic subjects were more likely to look elsewhere than the matched control cases and looked less at staff during one-to-one interaction. Relationships to age, developmental level, and other measures are discussed.


Corresponding author

Address reprint requests to: Dr. Volkmar, Yale Child Study Center, P.O. Box 3333, New Haven, CT 06510.


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