Visual and Vestibular Induced Eye Movements in Verbal Children and Adults with Autism

Visual and Vestibular Induced Eye Movements in Verbal Children and Adults with Autism

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  • Publish Date: 2015
  • ISBN-10: OCLC:1051414496
  • ebook-visual-and-vestibular-induced-eye-movements-in-verbal-children-and-adults-with-autism.pdf

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Abstract : This study assessed the functionality of vestibular, pursuit, and saccade circuitry in autism across a wide age range. Subjects were 79 individuals with autism (AUT) and 62 controls (CON) aged 5 to 52 years with IQ scores > 70. For vestibular testing, earth‐vertical axis rotation was performed in darkness and in a lighted visual surround with a fixation target. Ocular motor testing included assessment of horizontal saccades and horizontal smooth pursuit. No between‐group differences were found in vestibular reflexes or in mean saccade velocity or accuracy. Saccade latency was increased in the AUT group with significant age‐related effects in the 8–18 year old subgroups. There was a trend toward decreased pursuit gain without age effects. Normal vestibular‐induced eye movements and normal saccade accuracy and velocity provide the most substantial evidence to date of the functional integrity of brainstem and cerebellar pathways in autism, suggesting that the histopathological abnormalities described in these structures may not be associated with intrinsic dysfunction but rather reflect developmental alterations related to forebrain cortical systems formation. Increased saccade latency with age effects adds to the extensive existing evidence of altered function and maturation of cortical systems in autism. Autism Res 2015, 8: 658–667 . © 2015 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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