Do children with autism spectrum disorders exhibit biological motion perception deficits? Evidence using an action recognition paradigm

Sudhin Karuppali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Biological motion (BM) detection tasks determine the power of bottom-up and top-down processing. An individual’s performance in the perception of BM displays is highly influenced by stimuli characteristics and the way the correct responses are operationalized. Such impairments in the perception of BM displays are observed in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The present study aimed to study the performance of children with ASD and their age-matched controls in a biological motion perception task using an action recognition paradigm. Methods: This study followed a case-control design. Two males and two female participants with ASD (mean age 5.3, S.D. 0.9 years), and two males and two female control participants matched for language age and sex (mean language age 5.3, S.D. 0.6 years) were included in the study. Ten BM displays were video recorded using 15-point light displays mounted on an adult actor. Participants were instructed to detect the perceived BM display. Descriptive analysis was done on the type of responses generated. Results: A considerable increase in the accuracy of the responses was noted by the age matched typically developing children when compared to the ASD group. The participants of the ASD group received a maximum of 30% accuracy scores when compared to the controls receiving 90% scores. Conclusion: Action recognition based BM display task may help determine deficits in sensory and perceptual processing of individuals with ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-57
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Indian Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01-10-2018
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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