Social attention, joint attention and sustained attention in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Williams Syndrome: convergences and divergences Academic Article uri icon


  • There is limited knowledge on shared and syndrome-specific attentional profiles in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and Williams syndrome (WS). Using eye-tracking, we examined attentional profiles of 35 preschoolers with ASD, 22 preschoolers with WS and 20 typically developing children across social and non-social dimensions of attention. Children with ASD and those with WS presented with overlapping deficits in spontaneous visual engagement with the target of others' attention and in sustained attention. Children with ASD showed syndrome-specific abnormalities in monitoring and following a person's referential gaze, as well as a lack of preferential attention to social stimuli. Children with ASD and WS present with shared as well as syndrome-specific abnormalities across social and non-social dimensions of attention.

publication date

  • 2017