The association among autistic traits, interactional synchrony and typical pattern of motor planning and execution in neurotypical individuals

Michal Granner-Shuman, Anat Dahan, Roi Yozevitch, Hila Zahava Gvirts Problovski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by deficits in interactional synchrony and motor performance, but little is known about the association between them. The current study investigated the association among aberrant interactional synchrony (as measured by interactors’ symmetry in the form of the hand at each time-point along movement’s execution), motor functioning and the level of Autistic traits. In this study, autistic traits were evaluated by the Autistic Spectrum Quotient (AQ). Two tasks were used: (1) an interactional synchrony task where participants and the research assistant were instructed to move their hands together; and (2) a motor planning task which allows for continuous monitoring of natural hand movements. Pearson correlation analysis indicated a significant association between lower communication skills (i.e., higher AQ communication scores) and lower intentional synchrony rates. In addition, lower communication skills were found associated with typical patterns of motor planning and execution characterized by shorter time to start the movement and higher value of max speed. Mediator analyses supported the notion that aberrant intentional synchrony in individuals with low communication skills is partially mediated through typical patterns of motor planning and execution. These results suggest typical patterns of motor functions may account for intentional synchrony difficulties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1034
JournalSymmetry
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ASD
  • Autistic traits
  • Interactional synchrony
  • Motor planning and execution

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