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We examined whether the movement involved in a pointing gesture, depicted using point-light displays, is sufficient to cue attention in typically developing children (TD) and children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (aged 8-11 years). Using a Posner-type paradigm, a centrally located display indicated the location of a forthcoming target on 80% of trials and the opposite location on 20% of trials. TD children, but not children with ASD, were faster to identify a validly cued target than an invalidly cued target. A scrambled version of the point-light pointing gesture, retaining individual dot speed and direction of movement but not the configuration, produced no validity effect in either group. A video of a pointing gesture produced validity effects in both groups.

Original publication




Journal article


J Autism Dev Disord

Publication Date





1437 - 1446


Attention, Child, Child Development, Child Development Disorders, Pervasive, Cues, Fingers, Hand, Humans, Motor Activity, Neuropsychological Tests, Psychomotor Performance, Social Perception, Space Perception