Patterns of visual sensory and sensorimotor abnormalities in autism vary in relation to history of early language delay

Yukari Takarae, Beatriz Luna, Nancy J. Minshew, John A. Sweeney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Visual motion perception and pursuit eye movement deficits have been reported in autism. However, it is unclear whether these impairments are related to each other or to clinical symptoms of the disorder. High-functioning individuals with autism (41 with and 36 without delayed language acquisition) and 46 control subjects participated in the present study. All three subject groups were matched on chronological age and Full-Scale IQ. The autism group with delayed language acquisition had bilateral impairments on visual motion discrimination tasks, whereas the autism group without delay showed marginal impairments only in the left hemifield. Both autism groups showed difficulty tracking visual targets, but only the autism group without delayed language acquisition showed increased pursuit latencies and a failure to show the typical rightward directional advantage in pursuit. We observed correlations between performance on the visual perception and pursuit tasks in both autism groups. However, pursuit performance was correlated with manual motor skills only in the autism group with delayed language, suggesting that general sensorimotor or motor disturbances are a significant additional factor related to pursuit deficits in this subgroup. These findings suggest that there may be distinct neurocognitive phenotypes in autism associated with patterns of early language development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)980-989
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Volume14
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008

Fingerprint

Language Development Disorders
Autistic Disorder
Language
Visual Perception
Motion Perception
Language Development
Motor Skills
Vision Disorders
Eye Movements
Research Design
Phenotype

Keywords

  • Autism phenotypes
  • Autism subtypes
  • Language development
  • Population heterogeneity
  • Visual motion perception
  • Visual pursuit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "Visual motion perception and pursuit eye movement deficits have been reported in autism. However, it is unclear whether these impairments are related to each other or to clinical symptoms of the disorder. High-functioning individuals with autism (41 with and 36 without delayed language acquisition) and 46 control subjects participated in the present study. All three subject groups were matched on chronological age and Full-Scale IQ. The autism group with delayed language acquisition had bilateral impairments on visual motion discrimination tasks, whereas the autism group without delay showed marginal impairments only in the left hemifield. Both autism groups showed difficulty tracking visual targets, but only the autism group without delayed language acquisition showed increased pursuit latencies and a failure to show the typical rightward directional advantage in pursuit. We observed correlations between performance on the visual perception and pursuit tasks in both autism groups. However, pursuit performance was correlated with manual motor skills only in the autism group with delayed language, suggesting that general sensorimotor or motor disturbances are a significant additional factor related to pursuit deficits in this subgroup. These findings suggest that there may be distinct neurocognitive phenotypes in autism associated with patterns of early language development.",
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AB - Visual motion perception and pursuit eye movement deficits have been reported in autism. However, it is unclear whether these impairments are related to each other or to clinical symptoms of the disorder. High-functioning individuals with autism (41 with and 36 without delayed language acquisition) and 46 control subjects participated in the present study. All three subject groups were matched on chronological age and Full-Scale IQ. The autism group with delayed language acquisition had bilateral impairments on visual motion discrimination tasks, whereas the autism group without delay showed marginal impairments only in the left hemifield. Both autism groups showed difficulty tracking visual targets, but only the autism group without delayed language acquisition showed increased pursuit latencies and a failure to show the typical rightward directional advantage in pursuit. We observed correlations between performance on the visual perception and pursuit tasks in both autism groups. However, pursuit performance was correlated with manual motor skills only in the autism group with delayed language, suggesting that general sensorimotor or motor disturbances are a significant additional factor related to pursuit deficits in this subgroup. These findings suggest that there may be distinct neurocognitive phenotypes in autism associated with patterns of early language development.

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