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Title: Imitation of atypical biological motion in autism spectrum disorders
Author: Andrew, M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5989 6219
Awarding Body: Liverpool John Moores University
Current Institution: Liverpool John Moores University
Date of Award: 2016
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The aim of the present thesis was to examine imitation of biological motion in adults with autism spectrum disorders. Using a novel behavioural protocol, adults with autism and matched neurotypical control adults imitated models that displayed distinctly different, but biological believable kinematics. In Chapter Two it was observed that adults with autism exhibited low-fidelity imitation of atypical biological motion. In Chapter Three it was observed that when selective-attention instructions were provided, although eye movements recorded during action- observation was similar to controls, imitation of atypical biological motion was still impaired. In Chapter Four across three experiments it was shown that adults with autism exhibit reasonably high-fidelity imitation of atypical biological motion. This was achieved by presenting the to-be-imitated biological models in a fixed presentation structure which is known to facilitate greater integration and consolidation of sensorimotor information. This suggestion was supported by a further study where firstly participants were required to complete a secondary motor task during the inter-trial delay, and when the presentation structure was randomised (similar to Chapters Two and Three) resulting in low-fidelity imitation of atypical biological motion. These findings across the present thesis will be discussed in light of a critical evaluation with respect to current literature on imitation in autism, as well as implications for theoretical accounts of impaired imitation in autism and related sensorimotor control processes. Future considerations and translational research will be discussed, with the intention of offering prospective social rehabilitation protocols in autism.
Supervisor: Hayes, S. J. ; Bennett, S. J. ; Elliott, D. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: RC1200 Sports Medicine ; RZ Other systems of medicine