Investigating Gaze Behaviour of Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders in a Classroom Setting

Aideen Mc Parland, Stephen Gallagher, Mickey Keenan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
149 Downloads (Pure)


Abstract: A defining feature of ASD is atypical gaze behaviour, however, eye-tracking studies in ‘real-world’ settings are limited, and the possibility of improving gaze behaviour for ASD children is largely unexplored. This study investigated gaze behaviour of ASD and typically developing (TD) children in their classroom setting. Eye-tracking technology was used to develop and pilot an operant training tool to positively reinforce typical gaze behaviour towards faces. Visual and statistical analyses of eye-tracking data revealed different gaze behaviour patterns during live interactions for ASD and TD children depending on the interaction type. All children responded to operant training with longer looking times observed on face stimuli post training. The promising application of operant gaze training in ecologically valid settings is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4663-4678
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Early online date15 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished online - 15 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Department of Employment and Learning (DEL) Northern Ireland, Postgraduate Studentship, funding code 0011, awarded to the corresponding author.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Autism
  • eye tracking
  • applied behaviour analysis
  • Social Skills
  • Gaze behaviour
  • Eye-tracking
  • Applied behaviour analysis
  • Social skills
  • Behaviour change
  • Original Paper
  • Humans
  • Fixation, Ocular
  • Child
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder/diagnosis


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