Autism: preference for geometric images may be marker

17 September 2010

A preference for focusing on geometric patterns early in life may be a novel and easily detectable marker of infants at risk of autism.

US researchers tested whether 110 children aged between 14 and 42 months preferred to watch a movie showing moving geometric patterns or social images, such as children dancing or doing yoga. They found that the 37 children in the sample who had diagnosed autism spectrum  disorder (ASD) spent “significantly more time fixating on geometric images” than infants with developmental delay or normally developing infants.

“Infants identified as exhibiting preferences for geometric repetition are excellent candidates for further developmental evaluation and possible early treatment”, the authors reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry (2010 Sep 6).

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