Using Gaze Behaviour to Differentiate Between Developmental Prosopagnosia and Autism Spectrum Condition.
Developmental prosopagnosia (DP) is a neurodevelopmental condition characterised by a relatively selective deficit in face recognition. As face processing deficits are often observed in autism spectrum conditions (ASC), the two conditions have been reported to be confused, especially in childhood. An accurate diagnosis is vital so that suitable support and treatment options are offered to the individual. However, the ability to efficiently dissociate these conditions remains a challenge. The present chapter explores the utility of eye-tracking methods and investigates the eye-movements of those with DP and those with ASC, in order to differentiate these two conditions; while DPs and ASC participants have been found to elicit atypical eye-movements when presented with faces, these two conditions have not been directly compared. Analyses are presented from a small sample of adults with DP, ASC or control participants. Data collection was interrupted due to the present COVID-19 pandemic and thus, we consider the analyses preliminary. Nevertheless, data suggest that those with ASC look at the background significantly more than DP participants when the scene is more social and interactive in nature. Moreover, trends within the data suggest those with DP look at extrafacial features such as the hair and bodies, more than those with ASC do. In addition, in difference to those with ASC, DP participants also have a preference for looking at the mouth rather than the eyes and nose. We plan to continue with data collection when suitable to do so in order to increase the power of the study and more reliably identify eye-movement difference between these groups. The present chapter will then be prepared as a manuscript for publication.