Differential effects of anxiety and autism on social scene scanning in males with fragile X syndrome

Hayley Crawford, Joanna Moss, Chris Oliver, Deborah Riby

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewMeeting Abstract

    Abstract

    Background: Existing literature draws links between social attention and socio-behavioural profiles in neurodevelopmental disorders. Research has identified atypically reduced social attention in autism spectrum disorder (ASD; behaviourally associated with social withdrawal), and atypically prolonged social attention in Williams syndrome (associated with hyper-sociability). The socio-behavioural profile of fragile X syndrome (FXS) includes social motivation alongside heightened anxieties and ASD symptomatology. However, studies investigating social attention to naturalistic scenes in FXS are scarce. Furthermore, insight into the role of anxiety and autistic features is important to understand the potential mechanisms underlying social attention, and to guide interventions. This study compares social attention in males with FXS to typically developing (TD) children, and investigates the relationships between social attention, anxiety and ASD symptomatology.
    Methods: Eleven males with FXS (Mage = 26.29) and 11 TD children, matched on gender and receptive language ability (Mage = 6.28), participated in an eye-tracking task where 20 colour photographs of naturalistic social scenes were displayed. Dwell times to the background, body, and face regions of the stimuli were analysed. The relationships between social attention, anxiety and ASD symptomatology were investigated using the Spence Child Anxiety Scale and the Social Communication Questionnaire.
    Results: There were no between-group differences for dwell time to the background, body or face regions of the stimuli. Increased looking at faces was associated with both heightened anxiety and fewer social communication impairments in the FXS group only.
    Conclusion: These results suggest that whilst social attention to naturalistic social scenes may be developmentally ‘typical’ in males with FXS, anxiety and autism symptomatology are differentially related to social attention in this population. These results offer novel insights into the mechanisms associated with social attention in FXS, and paves the way for future investigations of the relationship between clinically-relevant, socio-behavioural phenotypes and social attention in neurodevelopmental disorders.

    Fingerprint

    Fragile X Syndrome
    Anxiety
    Autism
    Syndrome
    Communication
    Autism Spectrum Disorders
    Body Regions
    Motivation

    Keywords

    • anxiety
    • autism
    • eye-tracking
    • fragile X syndrome
    • social attention

    Cite this

    Differential effects of anxiety and autism on social scene scanning in males with fragile X syndrome. / Crawford, Hayley; Moss, Joanna; Oliver, Chris; Riby, Deborah.

    In: Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, Vol. 61, No. 9, 09.2017, p. 827-835.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewMeeting Abstract

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    title = "Differential effects of anxiety and autism on social scene scanning in males with fragile X syndrome",
    abstract = "Background: Existing literature draws links between social attention and socio-behavioural profiles in neurodevelopmental disorders. Research has identified atypically reduced social attention in autism spectrum disorder (ASD; behaviourally associated with social withdrawal), and atypically prolonged social attention in Williams syndrome (associated with hyper-sociability). The socio-behavioural profile of fragile X syndrome (FXS) includes social motivation alongside heightened anxieties and ASD symptomatology. However, studies investigating social attention to naturalistic scenes in FXS are scarce. Furthermore, insight into the role of anxiety and autistic features is important to understand the potential mechanisms underlying social attention, and to guide interventions. This study compares social attention in males with FXS to typically developing (TD) children, and investigates the relationships between social attention, anxiety and ASD symptomatology.Methods: Eleven males with FXS (Mage = 26.29) and 11 TD children, matched on gender and receptive language ability (Mage = 6.28), participated in an eye-tracking task where 20 colour photographs of naturalistic social scenes were displayed. Dwell times to the background, body, and face regions of the stimuli were analysed. The relationships between social attention, anxiety and ASD symptomatology were investigated using the Spence Child Anxiety Scale and the Social Communication Questionnaire. Results: There were no between-group differences for dwell time to the background, body or face regions of the stimuli. Increased looking at faces was associated with both heightened anxiety and fewer social communication impairments in the FXS group only.Conclusion: These results suggest that whilst social attention to naturalistic social scenes may be developmentally ‘typical’ in males with FXS, anxiety and autism symptomatology are differentially related to social attention in this population. These results offer novel insights into the mechanisms associated with social attention in FXS, and paves the way for future investigations of the relationship between clinically-relevant, socio-behavioural phenotypes and social attention in neurodevelopmental disorders.",
    keywords = "anxiety, autism, eye-tracking, fragile X syndrome, social attention",
    author = "Hayley Crawford and Joanna Moss and Chris Oliver and Deborah Riby",
    year = "2017",
    month = "9",
    doi = "10.1111/jir.12400",
    volume = "61",
    pages = "827--835",
    journal = "Journal of Intellectual Disability Research",
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    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Differential effects of anxiety and autism on social scene scanning in males with fragile X syndrome

    AU - Crawford,Hayley

    AU - Moss,Joanna

    AU - Oliver,Chris

    AU - Riby,Deborah

    PY - 2017/9

    Y1 - 2017/9

    N2 - Background: Existing literature draws links between social attention and socio-behavioural profiles in neurodevelopmental disorders. Research has identified atypically reduced social attention in autism spectrum disorder (ASD; behaviourally associated with social withdrawal), and atypically prolonged social attention in Williams syndrome (associated with hyper-sociability). The socio-behavioural profile of fragile X syndrome (FXS) includes social motivation alongside heightened anxieties and ASD symptomatology. However, studies investigating social attention to naturalistic scenes in FXS are scarce. Furthermore, insight into the role of anxiety and autistic features is important to understand the potential mechanisms underlying social attention, and to guide interventions. This study compares social attention in males with FXS to typically developing (TD) children, and investigates the relationships between social attention, anxiety and ASD symptomatology.Methods: Eleven males with FXS (Mage = 26.29) and 11 TD children, matched on gender and receptive language ability (Mage = 6.28), participated in an eye-tracking task where 20 colour photographs of naturalistic social scenes were displayed. Dwell times to the background, body, and face regions of the stimuli were analysed. The relationships between social attention, anxiety and ASD symptomatology were investigated using the Spence Child Anxiety Scale and the Social Communication Questionnaire. Results: There were no between-group differences for dwell time to the background, body or face regions of the stimuli. Increased looking at faces was associated with both heightened anxiety and fewer social communication impairments in the FXS group only.Conclusion: These results suggest that whilst social attention to naturalistic social scenes may be developmentally ‘typical’ in males with FXS, anxiety and autism symptomatology are differentially related to social attention in this population. These results offer novel insights into the mechanisms associated with social attention in FXS, and paves the way for future investigations of the relationship between clinically-relevant, socio-behavioural phenotypes and social attention in neurodevelopmental disorders.

    AB - Background: Existing literature draws links between social attention and socio-behavioural profiles in neurodevelopmental disorders. Research has identified atypically reduced social attention in autism spectrum disorder (ASD; behaviourally associated with social withdrawal), and atypically prolonged social attention in Williams syndrome (associated with hyper-sociability). The socio-behavioural profile of fragile X syndrome (FXS) includes social motivation alongside heightened anxieties and ASD symptomatology. However, studies investigating social attention to naturalistic scenes in FXS are scarce. Furthermore, insight into the role of anxiety and autistic features is important to understand the potential mechanisms underlying social attention, and to guide interventions. This study compares social attention in males with FXS to typically developing (TD) children, and investigates the relationships between social attention, anxiety and ASD symptomatology.Methods: Eleven males with FXS (Mage = 26.29) and 11 TD children, matched on gender and receptive language ability (Mage = 6.28), participated in an eye-tracking task where 20 colour photographs of naturalistic social scenes were displayed. Dwell times to the background, body, and face regions of the stimuli were analysed. The relationships between social attention, anxiety and ASD symptomatology were investigated using the Spence Child Anxiety Scale and the Social Communication Questionnaire. Results: There were no between-group differences for dwell time to the background, body or face regions of the stimuli. Increased looking at faces was associated with both heightened anxiety and fewer social communication impairments in the FXS group only.Conclusion: These results suggest that whilst social attention to naturalistic social scenes may be developmentally ‘typical’ in males with FXS, anxiety and autism symptomatology are differentially related to social attention in this population. These results offer novel insights into the mechanisms associated with social attention in FXS, and paves the way for future investigations of the relationship between clinically-relevant, socio-behavioural phenotypes and social attention in neurodevelopmental disorders.

    KW - anxiety

    KW - autism

    KW - eye-tracking

    KW - fragile X syndrome

    KW - social attention

    U2 - 10.1111/jir.12400

    DO - 10.1111/jir.12400

    M3 - Meeting Abstract

    VL - 61

    SP - 827

    EP - 835

    JO - Journal of Intellectual Disability Research

    T2 - Journal of Intellectual Disability Research

    JF - Journal of Intellectual Disability Research

    SN - 0964-2633

    IS - 9

    ER -