Social Cues Affect Grasping Hysteresis in ASD


Healthy development leads to a fluid integration of competing constraints. A marker of such behavior is hysteresis, reflecting a multi-stable system that takes into account its immediate history. The current study investigates patterns of hysteresis in typically developing children (TD) and those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The task was to grasp and lift objects that increased in size, either from smallest to largest, or from largest to smallest. The objects could be picked up with one or two hands, marking a range of bi-stable behavior. Results of the grasping task showed hysteresis in TD children, whether or not the task was situated in the social context. In contrast, children with ASD showed hysteresis only in the non-social context. For both diagnostic groups, perseveration did not correlate to the degree of hysteresis, regardless of the presence or absence of social cues.

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