Brief report: Circumscribed attention in young children with autism.


Journal Article

School-aged children and adolescents with autism demonstrate circumscribed attentional patterns to nonsocial aspects of complex visual arrays (Sasson et al. 2008). The current study downward extended these findings to a sample of 2-5 year-olds with autism and 2-5 year-old typically developing children. Eye-tracking was used to quantify discrete aspects of visual attention to picture arrays containing combinations of social pictures, pictures of objects frequently involved in circumscribed interests in persons with autism (e.g., trains), and pictures of more commonplace objects (e.g., clothing). The children with autism exhibited greater exploration and perseverative attention on objects related to circumscribed interests than did typically developing children. Results suggest that circumscribed attention may be an early emerging characteristic of autism.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sasson, NJ; Elison, JT; Turner-Brown, LM; Dichter, GS; Bodfish, JW

Published Date

  • February 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 41 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 242 - 247

PubMed ID

  • 20499147

Pubmed Central ID

  • 20499147

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-3432

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10803-010-1038-3


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States