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Social affiliation motives modulate spontaneous learning in Williams syndrome but not in autism

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Background: Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and those with Williams syndrome (WS) have difficulties with learning, though the nature of these remains unclear.

Methods: In this study, we used novel eye-tracking and behavioral paradigms to measure how 36 preschoolers with ASD and 21 age- and IQ-matched peers with WS attend to and learn novel behaviors (1) from the outcomes of their own actions (non-social learning), (2) through imitation of others’ actions (social learning), and across situations in which imitative learning served either an instrumental function or fulfilled social affiliation motives.

Results: The two groups demonstrated similar abilities to learn from the consequences of their own actions and to imitate new actions that were instrumental to the achievement of a tangible goal. Children with WS, unlike those with ASD, increased their attention and imitative learning performance when the model acted in a socially engaging manner.

Conclusions: Learning abnormalities in ASD appear to be linked to the social rather than instrumental dimensions of learning.

No MeSH data available.


Example of video stimulus in experiment 3
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Fig4: Example of video stimulus in experiment 3

Mentions: Participants were seated in a comfortable chair, 60 cm from the eye-tracking computer as in experiment 2, in front of a small table. A series of nine 8-s videos were presented on the monitor in two different fixed random orders. A new female actor was used in all videos. During each video demonstration, the same actor showed how to open a container that could only be opened using a specific and novel sequence of two steps. For example, as illustrated in Fig. 4, one container required removal of a piece of Velcro followed by depression of a button on the lid before the lid could be opened.Fig. 4


Social affiliation motives modulate spontaneous learning in Williams syndrome but not in autism
Example of video stimulus in experiment 3
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5015226&req=5

Fig4: Example of video stimulus in experiment 3
Mentions: Participants were seated in a comfortable chair, 60 cm from the eye-tracking computer as in experiment 2, in front of a small table. A series of nine 8-s videos were presented on the monitor in two different fixed random orders. A new female actor was used in all videos. During each video demonstration, the same actor showed how to open a container that could only be opened using a specific and novel sequence of two steps. For example, as illustrated in Fig. 4, one container required removal of a piece of Velcro followed by depression of a button on the lid before the lid could be opened.Fig. 4

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Background: Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and those with Williams syndrome (WS) have difficulties with learning, though the nature of these remains unclear.

Methods: In this study, we used novel eye-tracking and behavioral paradigms to measure how 36 preschoolers with ASD and 21 age- and IQ-matched peers with WS attend to and learn novel behaviors (1) from the outcomes of their own actions (non-social learning), (2) through imitation of others’ actions (social learning), and across situations in which imitative learning served either an instrumental function or fulfilled social affiliation motives.

Results: The two groups demonstrated similar abilities to learn from the consequences of their own actions and to imitate new actions that were instrumental to the achievement of a tangible goal. Children with WS, unlike those with ASD, increased their attention and imitative learning performance when the model acted in a socially engaging manner.

Conclusions: Learning abnormalities in ASD appear to be linked to the social rather than instrumental dimensions of learning.

No MeSH data available.