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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

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Brief report : imitation of meaningless gestures in individuals with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism

Stieglitz Ham, Heidi and Corley, Martin and Rajendran, G. and Carletta, Jean and Swanson, Sara (2008) Brief report : imitation of meaningless gestures in individuals with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38 (3). pp. 569-573. ISSN 0162-3257

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Abstract

Nineteen people with Asperger syndrome (AS)/High-Functioning Autism (HFA) (ages 7-15) were tested on imitation of two types of meaningless gesture: hand postures and finger positions. The individuals with AS/HFA achieved lower scores in the imitation of both hand and finger positions relative to a matched neurotypical group. The between-group difference was primarily accounted for by performance on a test of visual motor integration, together with a hand imitation deficit which was specifically due to errors in body part orientation. Our findings implicate both visuomotor processes (Damasio and Maurer, 1978) and self-other mapping (Rogers and Pennington, 1991) in ASD imitation deficits. Following Goldenberg (1999), we propose that difficulties with body part orientation may underlie problems in meaningless gesture imitation.