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Perception of biological motion in autistic spectrum disorder

Binnersley, J; (2006) Perception of biological motion in autistic spectrum disorder. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Background: Research has shown individuals with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have unusual perceptual skills, particularly with the perception of motion and more specifically biological motion. The importance of perceiving motion can be questioned in relation to developmental of communication skills, which are often impaired in ASD. Two research studies investigating perception of biological motion in ASD have shown conflicting results, therefore more appropriate methods of matching the experimental and control groups was carried out to further investigate the abilities of individuals with ASD to perceive biological motion. Methods: A signal detection method was used in which participants identified whether a point-light display was a person or not. Standardised tests were conducted to provide background measures of visuo- spatial and verbal abilities and to investigate whether any of the tests were suitable as predictors of ability to perceive biological motion. Results: A comparison between the two groups showed no significant difference in their ability to perceive biological motion, even when the groups were matched for chronological age. A developmental trajectory was established for the biological motion task to evaluate whether the experimental group followed the typical developmental pattern. Again no significant difference was shown between the two groups and none of the standardised tests were found to be appropriate as predictors. Conclusions: Although this study has shown no difference between the TD and ASD groups in the perception of biological motion suggesting normal performance of individuals with ASD on the biological motion task, further investigations are required in order to gain a more thorough understanding of a complex area of research.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Perception of biological motion in autistic spectrum disorder
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Language and Cognition
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1569672
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