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Title: Eye-gaze in multimodal interactions involving children with autism spectrum disorders
Author: Korkoakangas, Terhi Kirsi
ISNI:       0000 0004 2723 5811
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2012
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Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that characteristically involves an impaired capacity to engage in reciprocal social interaction and to use eye-gaze for social purposes. This collection of conversation analytic studies examines naturally-occurring interactions involving Finnish children diagnosed with autism. The data consist of video-recorded interactions of four children, aged between 9-12 years, each engaged in dyadic or multiparty interactions with a range of familiar co-participants (teachers, parents, and siblings) at home, school, and music club. Comparative data from neurotypical interactions are also considered. The aim is to use conversation analysis to better understand how the children with autism interact in everyday settings. The study examines the organization of interactions as sequences of action, and how eye-gaze and other multimodal resources are involved in the orientation to and production of initiating and responsive actions (e.g. questions and answers). The analyses show (1) competencies with respect to using eye-gaze at relevant sequential environments to mobilise a response from a co-participant, and using smiling as an interactional resource while orienting to the response-implicativeness of eye-gaze; (2) displays of self-consciousness (involving averted gaze and other conduct) can occur when the participants orient to the children's non-production of a response that has been made relevant; (3) child's gaze aversion can become problematic in particular sequential locations, namely, when the child's response is noticeably absent and treated as unforthcoming; (4) how the handling of material objects can provide a resource when eliciting interactional involvement with the child. The findings indicate areas of interactional competence and show how, on some occasions, the direction of eye-gaze and body orientation can become interactionally problematic. The merits of researching naturally occurring interactions, and the prospect of incorporating a conversation analytic component as part of clinical assessments, are discussed.
Supervisor: Dickerson, Paul ; Rae, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: eye-gaze ; autism ; spectrum disorders ; children ; multimodal interactions