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STORMy Interactions: Gaze and the Modulation of Mimicry in Adults on the Autism Spectrum

Forbes, PA; Wang, Y; de C Hamilton, AF; (2017) STORMy Interactions: Gaze and the Modulation of Mimicry in Adults on the Autism Spectrum. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review , 24 (2) pp. 529-535. 10.3758/s13423-016-1136-0. Green open access

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Abstract

Mimicry involves unconsciously imitating the actions of others and is a powerful and ubiquitous behavior in social interactions. There has been a long debate over whether mimicry is abnormal in people with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) and what the causes of any differences might be. Wang and Hamilton's (2012) social top-down response modulation (STORM) model proposed that people with ASC can and do mimic but, unlike neurotypical participants, fail to modulate their mimicry according to the social context. This study used an established mimicry paradigm to test this hypothesis. In neurotypical participants, direct gaze specifically enhanced congruent hand actions as previously found; in the ASC sample, direct gaze led to faster reaction times in both congruent and incongruent movements. This result shows that mimicry is intact in ASC, but is not socially modulated by gaze, as predicted by STORM.

Type: Article
Title: STORMy Interactions: Gaze and the Modulation of Mimicry in Adults on the Autism Spectrum
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3758/s13423-016-1136-0
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13423-016-1136-0
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2016. Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Autism, Gaze, Mimicry, Social cognition
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1522123
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