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Reduced Mimicry to Virtual Reality Avatars in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Forbes, Paul Alexander George; Pan, Xueni and Hamilton, Antonia F de C. 2016. Reduced Mimicry to Virtual Reality Avatars in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, pp. 1-10. ISSN 0162-3257 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Mimicry involves unconsciously copying the actions of others. Increasing evidence suggests that autistic people can copy the goal of an observed action but show differences in their mimicry. We investigated mimicry in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) within a two-dimensional virtual reality environment. Participants played an imitation game with a socially engaged avatar and socially disengaged avatar. Despite being told only to copy the goal of the observed action, autistic participants and matched neurotypical participants mimicked the kinematics of the avatars’ movements. However, autistic participants mimicked less. Social engagement did not modulate mimicry in either group. The results demonstrate the feasibility of using virtual reality to induce mimicry and suggest mimicry differences in ASD may also occur when interacting with avatars.

Item Type: Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-016-2930-2

Additional Information:

This work was supported by ERC Starting Grant: 313398-INTERACT.

Keywords:

Mimicry, Virtual reality, Social cognition, Kinematics, Imitation

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Computing

Dates:

DateEvent
30 September 2016Published Online
13 September 2016Accepted

Item ID:

19001

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2016 15:10

Last Modified:

01 Oct 2017 03:26

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/19001

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