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Teaching and assessment of gaze following for children with autism: analyzing the eye movement patterns via eyetracking

Grant number: 16/07852-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2016
Effective date (End): September 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Experimental Psychology
Principal researcher:Camila Domeniconi
Grantee:Carolina Coury Silveira de Almeida
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):17/08837-8 - Developing a group of non-arbitrary tasks for teaching interpersonal and spatial relations for limited-verbal individuals, BE.EP.DR


The behavior of gaze-following another individual to an object of interest has been considered a prerequisite for more complex responses as joint attention and perspective taking. Often children with autism have shown severe deficits in this repertoire. The objective of the first experiment is to extend the results of Gould, Tarboux, O´Hora, Noone and Bergstrom (2011). In the first experiment, three autistic participants will learn to gaze-follow from three different models (profile faces directed to an object to its left or right). It will be realized a replication of the multiple exemplar training procedure with some modifications during teaching and testing trying to achieve higher accuracy on behavior generalization in the natural context. The second experiment will investigate the gaze-following behaviour through an eyetracking instrument. Employing this equipment, it will be possible to verify the time of observation of each stimuli and patterns of observation on correct comparison stimuli and the model stimuli, for each subject, enabling a deeper understanding of the gaze-following learning process. The comparison among the results of this experiments and the original study will enable to identify the influence of parameters in teaching gaze-following behavior.

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