Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a group of neurodevelopmental conditions characterized by an impairment of Social Cognition (SC) abilities; SC is a complex cognitive construct; it is fundamental to improve successful social interactions. Another capacity that promotes positive social interaction is the aesthetic perception, a capacity closely related to the SC construct, influencing each other, in Typically Developed (TD) individuals. Impairments of these abilities hinder the social inclusion and lead to isolation of individuals with ASD. Based on these, this PhD project had a double objective: (1) Evaluating the development of SC and the role that it plays on social behaviour. (2) Evaluating the aesthetic perception ability in both TD and ASD individuals in order to help the clinicians to create specific protocols for rehabilitating the social functioning. To these purposes we conducted the following studies descripted in this thesis: a) we demonstrated that children with ASD have a delay in the development of SC skills, rather than a total lack of these competences, compared to children with TD. We used the development trajectories analysis on three SC tests specific for children of a range between the ages of 5-13 years (chapter 2). b) We demonstrated, through the mediation analysis, that in children with TD the competences of SC mediate the correct development of social behaviours appropriate to the context (chapter 2). c) The early diagnosis represents a fundamental step to avoid the social isolation of individuals with ASD. The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Second Edition (ADOS-2) is the only tool that allows the diagnosis of ASD. In our research, we applied the Formal Psychological Assessment (FPA) methodology to ADOS-2 in order to highlight strengths but also weaknesses of this diagnostic tool. The results revealed the need for a revision of the clinical tool through the implementation of an adaptive testing system which allows a more accurate evaluation and shorter execution times. A possible future perspective is to develop a software product that can assist clinicians in the path of diagnosis for ASD (chapter 2). d) We evaluated the aesthetic perception ability and her relationship with SC construct, in TD and ASD individuals, using a specific aesthetic task namely Golden Beauty (GB). On these premises our research activity focused on the study of aesthetic perception and SC in a group of adolescents with TD. The results showed that the aesthetic perception ability is related to the competences of SC. Specifically, these competences work together to improve social behaviour. e) Subsequently, we used the same task in a group of adolescents with ASD compared to adolescents with TD. We used the GB behavioural task adapted for eye-tracking in order to have both explicit and implicit evidences, respectively. At explicit level, our behavioural results showed an impairment in aesthetic perception ability in ASD individuals. However, at implicit level, ASD individuals conserved a good ability to feel aesthetic pleasure during the GB task. Thus, indicating the presence of a discrepancy between the explicit and implicit evaluation of the beauty task. Finally, beauty perception appears to be linked to empathy when both these capacities are not compromised, as demonstrated in the TD group. On the contrary, this link results to be missed in ASD individuals. Overall, our results clearly showed that individuals with autism are not completely blind to the aesthetic pleasure; they conserved an implicit ability to experience the beauty. These findings could pave the way for developing new protocols to rehabilitate ASD social functioning, exploiting their conserved implicit aesthetic perception (chapter 3). In conclusion, these new concepts could be useful in the design of individualized intervention goals on beauty and SC abilities, in order to improve the quality of life and social life of ASD individuals.
"USING NEW EXPERIMENTAL PARADIGMS AND DATA ANALYSIS FOR EVALUATING SOCIAL COGNITION AND AESTHETIC PERCEPTION ABILITIES IN INDIVIDUALS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER” / Peretti, Sara. - (2019 Dec 19).
|Titolo:||"USING NEW EXPERIMENTAL PARADIGMS AND DATA ANALYSIS FOR EVALUATING SOCIAL COGNITION AND AESTHETIC PERCEPTION ABILITIES IN INDIVIDUALS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER”|
|Data di pubblicazione:||19-dic-2019|
|Citazione:||"USING NEW EXPERIMENTAL PARADIGMS AND DATA ANALYSIS FOR EVALUATING SOCIAL COGNITION AND AESTHETIC PERCEPTION ABILITIES IN INDIVIDUALS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER” / Peretti, Sara. - (2019 Dec 19).|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||8.1 Tesi di dottorato|