Sensitivity to social contingency in adults with high-functioning autism during computer-mediated embodied interaction

Leonardo Zapata-Fonseca (Corresponding Author), Tom Froese, Leonhard Schilbach, Kai Vogeley, Bert Timmermans (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be understood as a social interaction disorder. This makes the emerging “second-person approach” to social cognition a more promising framework for studying ASD than classical approaches focusing on mindreading capacities in detached, observer-based arrangements. According to the second-person approach, embodied, perceptual, and embedded or interactive capabilities are also required for understanding others, and these are hypothesized to be compromised in ASD. We therefore recorded the dynamics of real-time sensorimotor interaction in pairs of control participants and participants with High-Functioning Autism (HFA), using the minimalistic human-computer interface paradigm known as “perceptual crossing” (PC). We investigated whether HFA is associated with impaired detection of social contingency, i.e., a reduced sensitivity to the other’s responsiveness to one’s own behavior. Surprisingly, our analysis reveals that, at least under the conditions of this highly simplified, computer-mediated, embodied form of social interaction, people with HFA perform equally well as controls. This finding supports the increasing use of virtual reality interfaces for helping people with ASD to better compensate for their social disabilities. Further dynamical analyses are necessary for a better understanding of the mechanisms that are leading to the somewhat surprising results here obtained.
Original languageEnglish
Article number22
Number of pages14
JournalBehavioral Sciences
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2018

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Autistic Disorder
Interpersonal Relations
Cognition
Autism Spectrum Disorder

Keywords

  • sensorimotor contingencies
  • intersubjectivity
  • autism spectrum disorder
  • embodied interaction
  • social interaction
  • virtual reality
  • human-computer interface

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Sensitivity to social contingency in adults with high-functioning autism during computer-mediated embodied interaction. / Zapata-Fonseca, Leonardo (Corresponding Author); Froese, Tom; Schilbach, Leonhard; Vogeley, Kai; Timmermans, Bert (Corresponding Author).

In: Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 8, No. 2, 22, 08.02.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zapata-Fonseca, Leonardo ; Froese, Tom ; Schilbach, Leonhard ; Vogeley, Kai ; Timmermans, Bert. / Sensitivity to social contingency in adults with high-functioning autism during computer-mediated embodied interaction. In: Behavioral Sciences. 2018 ; Vol. 8, No. 2.
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note = "Acknowledgments: We acknowledge financial support from the Direcci{\'o}n General de Asuntos del Personal Acad{\'e}mico (DGAPA) grants IA105017, IA104717, IN113013, IN106215 and IV100116, from the Universidad Nacional Aut{\'o}noma de M{\'e}xico (UNAM) and CONACYT grants 221341 and 167441 to Leonardo Zapata-Fonseca and Tom Froese; and the Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship “SOCIAL BRAIN” to Bert Timmermans. We thank Charles Lenay and Dominique Aubert from the Institut Technique de Compi{\`e}gne for making the TACTOS hardware and software available in Cologne, and providing technical support. Leonardo Zapata-Fonseca would like to specially thank Jorge Campos, Leticia Cruz, Jes{\'u}s Naveja, Juha Lahnakoski, Tore Erdmann and Lilia Fonseca for interesting discussions, as well as with help for processing of the data.",
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