Autism 2018 02 14;22(2):195-204. Epub 2016 Nov 14.
5 INSERM U 955, University Paris Est Creteil & Fondation FondaMental, Creteil, France.
In this study, we examined the accuracy and dynamics of visually guided saccades in 20 adults with autism spectrum disorder, as compared to 20 typically developed adults using the Step/Overlap/Gap paradigms. Performances in participants with autistic spectrum disorder were characterized by preserved Gap/Overlap effect, but reduced gain and peak velocity, as well as a greater trial-to-trial variability in task performance, as compared to the control group. While visual orienting and attentional engagement were relatively preserved in individuals with autistic spectrum disorder, overall these findings provide evidence that abnormal oculomotor behavior in autistic spectrum disorder reflects an altered sensorimotor control due to cerebellar abnormalities, rather than a deficit in the volitional control of eye movements. This study contributes to a growing body of evidence implicating this structure in the physiopathology of autism.