Children's responses to the image of self, peer, and adult: Autism and typical development

Wakako Sanefuji, Hidehiro Ohgami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The typical development (TD) of social cognition could be rooted in the implicit notion that others are like the self. Although many studies show their impairment of social orienting, such a primary notion in children with autistic disorder (AD) has not been known. The present paper examined the responses of children with AD to stimuli such as others with similar features as the self. The preferential looking paradigm was used to assess the responses of children with AD to others of the same or different age (i.e., peer or adult), and compare these responses to those of children with TD. Subsequently, the same participants' responses to the self and peer were also examined. The results revealed that children with AD did not show preferential responses to peer nor adult, but showed a looking preference for their own images; on the other hand, children with TD preferred to look at both peer and the self. It could be interpreted that children with AD might not be able to generalize their understanding of the self to that of others at least at the visual level, whereas children with TD should, on the basis of self-recognition, detect similarity and perceive familiarity with others of the same age as themselves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1194-1200
Number of pages7
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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