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Social Preferences in Rett Syndrome

      Abstract

      Children with Rett syndrome manifest profound impairments in their ability to speak and use their hands, and exhibit a very limited repertoire of abilities to express themselves, to be neuropsychologically tested, and consequently to be understood. This study examined nonverbal cognitive abilities and visual preferences by analyzing the pattern of visual fixation in 49 girls with Rett syndrome, compared with a group of typical control subjects. The girls with Rett syndrome demonstrated a tendency toward socially weighted stimuli/social preferences. They looked at people, and into people’s eyes. Eye tracking represents a feasible method to assess cognition, and provide insights into the burden of isolation of these children and the mismatch between their social preferences and incompetence, caused by movement disorder and apraxia.
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      Linked Article

      • The Use of Eye-Gaze Technology in Girls With Rett Syndrome
        Pediatric NeurologyVol. 48Issue 2
        • Preview
          We have no doubt about the value of eye-gaze technology for investigating communication and cognition in patients with Rett syndrome (RS) and their responses to it [1,2]. However, it is a kind of research that involves very rigorous methodologic procedures to guarantee conclusive results, and a large cohort does not necessarily mean the best study results, although multicentric efforts with well-standardized patterns always are the best way to understand a phenomenon.
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