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A review of methods in the study of attention in autism

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sue Fletcher-Watson


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Atypical attention, while not a diagnostic feature, is common in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The study of these atypicalities has recently gained in both quantity and quality, due in part to an increased focus on attentional atypicalities as one of the earliest signs of ASD in infancy. A range of attentional processes and components have been investigated, and the methods used are varied, from Posner-type paradigms, to the more recent use of eye-movement recording and change-detection techniques. This methodological complexity is one factor in the production of conflicting evidence on the topic of attention in ASD. This review uses a focus on methodology to clarify the literature to date and provide a resource for researchers wishing to study attention in ASD. Other factors that have contributed to the current discrepancies in findings are discussed, particularly the role of individual and group differences within the population of people with ASD. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ames C, Fletcher-Watson S

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Developmental Review

Year: 2010

Volume: 30

Issue: 1

Pages: 52-73

Print publication date: 18/01/2010

ISSN (print): 0273-2297

ISSN (electronic): 1090-2406


DOI: 10.1016/j.dr.2009.12.003