Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Perceptual factors affecting social attention in autism spectrum disorders  

The main goal of the study is to elucidate the perceptual processes that serve to bias toddlers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) toward objects instead of toward people and their immediate environment and to determine what drives their unusual exploratory behaviors. The research will focus on the perceptual dimensions of contrast and motion in 18-24 month old toddlers that are exhibiting signs of ASD. The toddlers will be assessed to determine if those that have ASD are biased toward high-contrast stimuli and if they react more to certain kinds of motion. Tests will also be done to determine the effect that certain distracters have on the toddlers' behavior. By shedding light on the mechanisms that lead to deficits in attention to social stimuli in everyday situations in young children with ASD, the project's findings will inform interventions that aim to minimize the effects of such deficits over the first years of life. Furthermore, these findings could aid the design of early diagnostic measures for high-risk infant sibling populations or infants with emerging but unclear symptoms of ASD. Project Status


Funder National Institutes of Health
Fiscal Year Funding $82,750.00
Project Number 1R03MH086732-01
Principal Investigator Macari, Suzanne
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 1: When Should I Be Concerned? (Diagnosis)
Strategic Plan Objective Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 1LB. Develop at least five measures of behavioral and/or biological heterogeneity in children or adults with ASD, beyond variation in intellectual disability, that clearly relate to etiology and risk, treatment response and/or outcome by 2015. IACC Recommended Budget: $71,100,000 over 5 years.
Federal or Private? Federal
Institution Yale University
State/Country Connecticut
Web Link 1 Perceptual factors affecting social attention in autism spectrum disorders (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects Perceptual factors affecting social attention in autism spectrum disorders | $82,750.00 | 2010 | 5R03MH086732-02