Presentation Title

An Altered Peri-Hand Space in Autism

Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented the Friday of the conference

Abstract

When an object is located near the hand (in peri-hand space) it is subject to enhanced visual processing. This is proposed to facilitate the development of accurate visually guided reach and grasp movements in childhood. For infants at risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) research suggests that impairments in reaching and grasping can be seen as early as six months of age. The cause of these deficits is largely unknown. One possibility is that abnormal multisensory integration could interfere with peri-hand space function during development. If this were the case, impaired sensory processing in near-hand space could have a cascading effect on motor development and the subsequent development of higher level social and communication abilities. Thus, we hypothesize that peri-hand space effects will be altered in individuals with Autism, compared to typically developing individuals. To test this, adults particpants with and without an ASD diganosis will complete a visual search task that requires them to locate a target object among an array of distractors on a computer screen. Each participant will complete the task under two conditions: right hand near the screen (within peri-hand space) and right hand on the lap (outside of peri-hand space). We expect to find that peri-hand sapce effects will be stronger when the right hand is placed close to the screen in typically developing particapants only. These results may indicate that processing in near hand space is altered in ASD and could lead to a reliable marker of the disorder, subsequently leading to earlier interventions.

Department

Psychology

Faculty Advisor

Jenni Karl

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

An Altered Peri-Hand Space in Autism

When an object is located near the hand (in peri-hand space) it is subject to enhanced visual processing. This is proposed to facilitate the development of accurate visually guided reach and grasp movements in childhood. For infants at risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) research suggests that impairments in reaching and grasping can be seen as early as six months of age. The cause of these deficits is largely unknown. One possibility is that abnormal multisensory integration could interfere with peri-hand space function during development. If this were the case, impaired sensory processing in near-hand space could have a cascading effect on motor development and the subsequent development of higher level social and communication abilities. Thus, we hypothesize that peri-hand space effects will be altered in individuals with Autism, compared to typically developing individuals. To test this, adults particpants with and without an ASD diganosis will complete a visual search task that requires them to locate a target object among an array of distractors on a computer screen. Each participant will complete the task under two conditions: right hand near the screen (within peri-hand space) and right hand on the lap (outside of peri-hand space). We expect to find that peri-hand sapce effects will be stronger when the right hand is placed close to the screen in typically developing particapants only. These results may indicate that processing in near hand space is altered in ASD and could lead to a reliable marker of the disorder, subsequently leading to earlier interventions.