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Using eye-tracking, we examine the scanning patterns of 2 year old and 4 year old toddlers with and without autism spectrum disorder as they view static images of faces. We use several measures, such as the entropy of scanning patterns, in order to characterize the differences in attention towards faces by these children. We find a differential pattern of both fine attention (towards specific regions of the face) as well as gross attention (looking at the faces at all) which seem to suggest different developmental trajectories for the two groups of children. We discuss the implications of these trends and the development of simple, effective, and robust measures and methodology for evaluating scanning patterns.
Date of Conference: 9-12 Aug. 2008