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Eye get it! What eye-movements can tell us about language processing in autism spectrum disorder

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Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are characterised by deficits in social interaction, reciprocal communication and a restricted repertoire of interests and behaviours. Despite this symptom core, language outcomes are extremely variable, prompting intense theoretical debate as to the origins of language impairment in ASD . Recent advances in eye-movement technology have provided a novel means to assess language processing implicitly, in real time. I will describe eye-movement studies from my lab which have tested two prominent theories of language impairment in ASD : the weak central coherence hypothesis, and a social learning deficit theory. These investigations have elucidated both sources of language learning difficulty and possible avenues of compensation for language development in ASD .

This talk is part of the Cambridge University Linguistic Society series.

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