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Imitation of atypical biological motion in autism spectrum disorders

Andrew, M (2016) Imitation of atypical biological motion in autism spectrum disorders. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

The aim of the present thesis was to examine imitation of biological motion in adults with autism spectrum disorders. Using a novel behavioural protocol, adults with autism and matched neurotypical control adults imitated models that displayed distinctly different, but biological believable kinematics. In Chapter Two it was observed that adults with autism exhibited low-fidelity imitation of atypical biological motion. In Chapter Three it was observed that when selective-attention instructions were provided, although eye movements recorded during action- observation was similar to controls, imitation of atypical biological motion was still impaired. In Chapter Four across three experiments it was shown that adults with autism exhibit reasonably high-fidelity imitation of atypical biological motion. This was achieved by presenting the to-be-imitated biological models in a fixed presentation structure which is known to facilitate greater integration and consolidation of sensorimotor information. This suggestion was supported by a further study where firstly participants were required to complete a secondary motor task during the inter-trial delay, and when the presentation structure was randomised (similar to Chapters Two and Three) resulting in low-fidelity imitation of atypical biological motion. These findings across the present thesis will be discussed in light of a critical evaluation with respect to current literature on imitation in autism, as well as implications for theoretical accounts of impaired imitation in autism and related sensorimotor control processes. Future considerations and translational research will be discussed, with the intention of offering prospective social rehabilitation protocols in autism.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorders; Imitation; Biological Motion; Kinematics
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2016 10:32
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2016 10:32
Supervisors: Hayes, SJ and bennett, SJ and elliott, D
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5086

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