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Attention to Faces in Williams Syndrome

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Debbie Riby, Nicola Jones, Dr Lucy RobinsonORCiD, Professor Vicki Bruce


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Williams syndrome (WS) is associated with distinct social behaviours. One component of the WS social phenotype is atypically prolonged face fixation. This behaviour co-exists with attention difficulties. Attention is multi-faceted and may impact on gaze behaviour in several ways. Four experiments assessed (i) attention capture by faces, (ii) interference from facial stimuli, (iii) face bias, and (iv) attention disengagement. Individuals with WS were compared to typically developing participants of comparable nonverbal ability and chronological age. The first three experiments revealed no atypicality of attention to faces in WS. However, in experiment 4 there was a suggestion that individuals with WS (compared to those developing typically) found it much more time consuming to disengage from faces than objects. The results are discussed in terms of attention abnormalities and possible face disengagement difficulties in WS. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Riby DM, Jones N, Brown PH, Robinson LJ, Langton SRH, Bruce V, Riby LM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

Year: 2011

Volume: 41

Issue: 9

Pages: 1228-1239

Print publication date: 02/12/2010

ISSN (print): 0162-3257

ISSN (electronic): 1573-3432

Publisher: Springer New York LLC


DOI: 10.1007/s10803-010-1141-5


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