What Can Eye Movements Tell Us About Subtle Cognitive Processing Differences in Autism?

Philippa Howard, Li Zhang, Valerie Benson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
206 Downloads (Pure)


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is neurodevelopmental condition principally characterised by impairments in social interaction and communication, and repetitive behaviours and interests. This article reviews the eye movement studies designed to investigate the underlying sampling or processing differences that might account for the principal characteristics of autism. Following a brief summary of a previous review chapter by one of the authors of the current paper, a detailed review of eye movement studies investigating various aspects of processing in autism over the last decade will be presented. The literature will be organised into sections covering different cognitive components, including language and social communication and interaction studies. The aim of the review will be to show how eye movement studies provide a very useful on-line processing measure, allowing us to account for observed differences in behavioural data (accuracy and reaction times). The subtle processing differences that eye movement data reveal in both language and social processing have the potential to impact in the everyday communication domain in autism.
Original languageEnglish
Article number22
Number of pages32
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2019

Structured keywords

  • SoE Centre for Psychological Approaches for Studying Education
  • SoE Language Literacies and Education Network


  • autism
  • eye movements
  • cognitive processing
  • social and everyday communication


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