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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > May > May 5

Are Abductees Aware As If Afflicted With ASD?

From: Rick Nielsen <nilthchi.nul>
Date: Fri, 4 May 2007 18:22:56 -0700 (PDT)
Fwd Date: Sat, 05 May 2007 07:50:42 -0400
Subject: Are Abductees Aware As If Afflicted With ASD?

Are all abductees acutely aware, at an ASD level, when
manipulated by their abductors?


Abnormal Face Processing In Toddlers With Autism And
Developmental Delays


Science Daily =97 Toddlers with autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
often have difficulty focusing on people's faces and making eye
contact, but a new study by Yale School of Medicine researchers
found that these same toddlers do not have difficulty looking at
photographs of faces.

The researchers, led by Yale Child Study Center Assistant
Professor Katarzyna Chawarska, will present their work at the
International Meeting for Autism Research May 3-5 in Seattle,
Washington, also found that toddlers with ASD spend most of the
time examining the eyes.

"This is a surprising finding, given that avoiding eye contact is
one of the classic hallmarks of autism," said Chawarska. "The
results are preliminary and will require further replication and
extension, but they suggest that pictures of faces and eyes are,
by themselves, neither inherently unattractive nor inherently
aversive to toddlers with ASD. Therefore, the limited attention
to faces and eyes observed in natural settings may be due to the
fact that faces don't stand out to them as much as other objects
in the environment. There also may be heightened arousal related
to the complex social and perceptual context in which faces
usually occur."

The study examined visual scanning patterns and recognition of
faces and abstract patterns in toddlers. The data were collected
through an eye-tracking system. Chawarska said toddlers with ASD
and developmental delays were impaired when recognizing faces
they had seen previously.

"When given time to familiarize with a picture of a face, both
groups spent more time looking at the outside features of the
face, such as the hair, ears and the neck compared to the their
typically developing peers," said Chawarska. "It is therefore
likely that toddlers with disabilities were having a harder time
encoding information regarding facial identity because they were
simply looking less at facial features, which are of greatest
help in extracting this type of information. We also found it
interesting that those toddlers with ASD who adopted a pattern of
looking at faces which closely resembled the pattern of typical
toddlers, were less socially impaired and were also better at
face recognition."

Chawarska said that the next step is to closely examine the
spatial and temporal characteristic of the children's visual
scanning patterns. "While typical and developmentally delayed
toddlers move quickly between various inner elements of the
face, scanning rapidly between the left and right eye, toddlers
with ASD tend to look longer at specific facial features than
other children, which might signify an idiosyncratic approach to
face processing specific to ASD in early development," said

Other authors on the study included Frederick Shic, Ami Klin and
Fred Volkmar.

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by
Yale University.

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