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Beier Yao, Martin Rolfs, Christopher McLaughlin, Emily L. Isenstein, Sylvia B. Guillory, Hannah Grosman, Deborah A. Kashy, Jennifer H. Foss-Feig, Katharine N. Thakkar; Oculomotor corollary discharge signaling is related to repetitive behavior in children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Vision 2021;21(8):9. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.21.8.9.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Corollary discharge (CD) signals are “copies” of motor signals sent to sensory regions that allow animals to adjust sensory consequences of self-generated actions. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by sensory and motor deficits, which may be underpinned by altered CD signaling. We evaluated oculomotor CD using the blanking task, which measures the influence of saccades on visual perception, in 30 children with ASD and 35 typically developing (TD) children. Participants were instructed to make a saccade to a visual target. Upon saccade initiation, the presaccadic target disappeared and reappeared to the left or right of the original position. Participants indicated the direction of the jump. With intact CD, participants can make accurate perceptual judgements. Otherwise, participants may use saccade landing site as a proxy of the presaccadic target and use it to inform perception. We used multilevel modeling to examine the influence of saccade landing site on trans-saccadic perceptual judgements. We found that, compared with TD participants, children with ASD were more sensitive to target displacement and less reliant on saccade landing site when spatial uncertainty of the post-saccadic target was high. This pattern was driven by ASD participants with less severe restricted and repetitive behaviors. These results suggest a relationship between altered CD signaling and core ASD symptoms.
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