Blatchford, H. h. (2014). Can we ever see eye to eye? An
investigation into the impact of eye contact
on relatedness between children with autism in mainstream reception classes and their teaching assistants. Good Autism Practice. pp. 24-39.
examined the difference between teaching assistants and young children with
autism and the relationship between eye contact and to whether training and a
specific intervention can enhance their relationship. The participants included
25 mainstreamed children who were diagnosed with autism. The teaching
assistants assessed eye contact with the children during the course of a
5-minute play session. Speech and Language Therapist offered four different
levels of intervention: advice only, advice and training, advice and individual
intervention sessions, and advice, training and individual training sessions.
The observation in the study suggests that the teaching assistants began their
interactions in a positive manner, but then those who received eye contact from
the children continued in this positive manner, whereas those who did not
receive this feedback, they gradually became less related to the child.
Böckler, A., Timmermans, B., Sebanz, N.,
Vogeley, K., & Schilbach, L. (2014). Effects of Observing Eye Contact on Gaze Following in
High-Functioning Autism. Journal of Autism
and Developmental Disorders,44(7), 1651-1658.
examined the effects of observed eye contact in high functioning autism. The
participants included 27 people whose age ranged from 20 to 62, and in the
control group 25 people whose age ranged from 21 to 63. A presentation software
was then used where two faces were presented either looking at or away from
each other. Then, a target was presented at one of the locations until the
participants responded. The results indicated that there was an absence of
pattern in the participants with autism, which implies that they did not
process observed eye contact between other agents, and may have failed to
perceive eye contact as a perceived cue.
Cook, J. L., Rapp, J. T., Mann, K. R., Mchugh, C., Burji,
C., & Nuta, R. (2017). A Practitioner Model
for Increasing Eye Contact in Children with Autism. Behavior Modification, 41(3),
This study examined the overall
effects of the sequential model for increasing eye contact behavior in children
with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The participants included 20 children whose ages
ranged from 3 to 12 and was conducted over a period of 3 years. The procedure phases included: contingent
praise, contingent edibles plus praise, stimulus prompts plus contingent
edibles and praise, contingent video and praise, schedule thinning, and
maintenance evaluations. The results indicated that the procedures increased
eye contact for all the participants, but for 16 praises was not sufficient to
support eye contact. Although, when the therapists’ combined schedules of
intermittent edibles or a video and continuous praise high levels of eye
contact were typically maintained with participants.
Edmunds, S. R., Rozga, A., Li, Y., Karp, E. A.,
Ibanez, L. V., Rehg, J. M., & Stone, W. L. (2017).
Brief Report: Using a Point-of-View Camera to Measure Eye Gaze in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
During Naturalistic Social Interactions: A Pilot Study. Journal of Autism and Developmental
Disorders,47(3), 898-904. doi:10.1007/s10803-016-3002-3
compared eye gaze coding that derived from a stationary camera in comparison to
coding that derived from a “point-of-view” the PoV camera on a social partner.
The participants in the study consisted of 8 children with ASD and 7 typically
developing children. The participants then interacted in a play session with
the examiner for 5 minutes where the examiner scripted 3 different plat
activities. The examiner first held a snack over different parts of their face
and describe their interaction with enthusiasm. The examiner then interacted by
signing “Itsy-Bitsy Spider and accompanied the song with hand motions. Finally,
the examiner expressed facial expressions such as happy, sad, scared, and
surprised. The results of this study provide strong preliminary evidence that
use of PoV camera that was worn by the social partner enabled coders to produce
reliable and valid estimates of children’s eye gaze during a live social
interaction. Additionally, the results from this study can be replicated in a
and conducted in a larger sample as well as with a larger population.
Falck-Ytter, T., Carlström, C., & Johansson, M. (2014).
Eye Contact Modulates Cognitive Processing
Differently in Children with Autism. Child
Development, 86(1), 37-47. doi:10.1111/cdev.12273
examined the effects of eye contact on memory for nonsocial information and the
difference between children with typical development as opposed to children
with autism. The participants included 8 high-functioning individuals with ASD
whose ages ranged from 4.9 to 10.4, and the typically developing group included
25 children whose ages ranged from 5.1 to 10.2. The design was in a typical
classroom environment, and two very colorful illustrations were hung behind the
examiner on the wall behind to increase the ecological validity of the study.
By doing so it kept both social and nonsocial stimuli within the child and the
stimulus area covered by the eye tracker. Overall the findings of the study
indicate that eye contact affects cognition differently in the two child
Freeth, M., Foulsham, T., & Kingstone, A. (2013). What
Affects Social Attention? Social Presence,
Eye Contact and Autistic Traits. PLoS
ONE, 8(1). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053286
The study analyzed participants’ viewing
behavior during one-to-one social interactions with an experimenter. The
participants in the study included undergraduate students 16 males and 15
females, and their interactions were the conducted live or via a video. The
participants were asked about four topics and their answers were record. During
their interactions, the participants wore an eye tracker. The finding was that
participants looked more at the experimenter’s face and less at the
experimenter’s body when the direct eye contact was made. The experimenter’s
eye gaze direction had a stronger effect on participant’s viewing patterns in
the answer phase than in the asking phase. Analyzing these patterns of
eye-movements in response to strictly controlled video stimuli and natural
stimuli furthers the field’s understanding of the factors that influence social
attention. Overall these results indicated that direct gaze in a live situation
is a potent social cue.
Jones, R. M., Southerland, A., Hamo, A., Carberry, C.,
Bridges, C., Nay, S., . . . Rozga, A. (2016).
Increased Eye Contact During Conversation Compared to Play in Children with Autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47(3), 607-614.
examined whether gaze behavior varied across different reciprocal social
interactions in children with autism and typically developing children. The
participants in sample one included 20 children who were diagnosed ASD and 20
typically developing children whose ages ranged from 4 to 13. In the
longitudinal study, sample two the participants included 15 children between
the ages of 5 to 13. The examiner interacted with the children for 12 minutes
in total and it consisted of two 5-min interactive play segments with
standardized sets of toys, separated by a 2-min conversation segment. The
session was then d by the Pivothead glasses, and was then coded by trained
individuals. The results of the study suggest that eye contact is a typical and
atypical development and that it is in influenced by subtle changes in context,
and has implications for optimizing the assessments of social communication
Madipakkam, A. R., Rothkirch, M., Dziobek, I., & Sterzer,
P. (2017). Unconscious avoidance of eye
contact in autism spectrum disorder. Scientific
Reports, 7(1), 13378. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13945-5
examined whether atypical responses to eye gaze in autism spectrum disorder is
dependent on the conscious perception of others’ faces. The participants in the
same include 14 with ASD and 20 typically developing individuals. The use of
subjective and objective measure was used by a trial-by-trial method assessing
their awareness of direct and averted gaze.
The results of the study provide evidence that the atypical
response to eye contact in ASD is an unconscious and involuntary response, and
provides a better understanding of the mechanism of gaze avoidance in autism.
O’Handley, R. D., Radley, K. C., & Whipple, H. M.
(2015). The relative effects of social stories and
video modeling toward increasing eye contact of adolescents with autism
spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 11,
This study examined eye contact in adolescents
with autism spectrum disorder and compared and evaluated the effects of video
modeling and social stories. The participants included 6 male high school
students whose ages ranged from 16-19 whose diagnosis was ID and or ASD, and
participants were then divided into two groups.
Group one’s experimental condition included a baseline, social story,
and a social story as well as video modeling. Group two’s condition included a
baseline, video modeling, and a video modeling as well as a social story. The
results suggest that social story interventions are less effective than video
modeling for improving eye contact in both generalized and training contexts, with
video modeling isolation was presented resulting in intervention effects
equivalent to combined video modeling and social story interventions.
Addressing eye contact with individuals with ASD may consider video modeling as
an effective and resource efficient in intervention strategy.
Vida, M. D., Maurer, D., Calder, A. J., Rhodes,
G., Walsh, J. A., Pachai, M. V., & Rutherford, M. D. (2013). The Influences of Face Inversion and Facial
Expression on Sensitivity to Eye
Contact in High-Functioning Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders,43(11),
2536-2548. doi:10.1007/s10803-013-1802- 2
This study observed the influence of facial
expression and facial inversions that are sensitive to eye contact in
high-functioning adults with and without autism spectrum disorder. The
participants were diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome or pervasive developmental
disorder not otherwise specified. The study included 2 groups of adults with
and without ASD. The group with ASD consisted of 17 adults whose ages ranged
from 18 to 42. The control group consisted of 17 adults whose age ranged from
20 to 44. A grayscale digital photograph
was then presented were four adult males facial expression expressed anger,
fear, and neutral expressions. The results indicate just like typical adults and
children, high- functioning adults with ASD possess an adaptive bias to
interpret hostile signals but, they lack inversion. This finding then suggests
that their perception of eye contact may not rely on the same type of visual
processing in typically developing individuals.