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dc.contributor.authorArthur, T
dc.date.accessioned2022-04-04T08:22:49Z
dc.date.issued2022-03-14
dc.date.updated2022-04-01T14:28:19Z
dc.description.abstractThis thesis examined the aetiology of sensorimotor impairments in Autism Spectrum Disorder: a neurodevelopmental condition that affects an individual’s socio-behavioural preferences, personal independence, and quality of life. Issues relating to clumsiness and movement coordination are common features of autism that contribute to wide-ranging daily living difficulties. However, these characteristics are relatively understudied and there is an absence of evidence-based practical interventions. To pave the way for new, scientifically-focused programmes, a series of studies investigated the mechanistic underpinnings of sensorimotor differences in autism. Following a targeted review of previous research, study one explored links between autistic-like traits and numerous conceptually-significant movement control functions. Eye-tracking analyses were integrated with force transducers and motion capture technology to examine how participants interacted with uncertain lifting objects. Upon identifying a link between autistic-like traits and context-sensitive predictive action control, study two replicated these procedures with a sample of clinically-diagnosed participants. Results illustrated that autistic people are able to use predictions to guide object interactions, but that uncertainty-related adjustments in sensorimotor integration are atypical. Such findings were advanced within a novel virtual-reality paradigm in study three, which systematically manipulated environmental uncertainty during naturalistic interception actions. Here, data supported proposals that precision weighting functions are aberrant in autistic people, and suggested that these individuals have difficulties with processing volatile sensory information. These difficulties were not alleviated by the experimental provision of explicit contextual cues in study four. Together, these studies implicate the role of implicit neuromodulatory mechanisms that regulate dynamic sensorimotor behaviours. Results support the development of evidence-based programmes that ‘make the world more predictable’ for autistic people, with various theoretical and practical implications presented. Possible applications of these findings are discussed in relation to recent multi-disciplinary research and conceptual advances in the field, which could help improve daily living skills and functional quality of life.en_GB
dc.description.sponsorshipEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)en_GB
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10871/129256
dc.publisherUniversity of Exeteren_GB
dc.titleSensorimotor Differences in Autism Spectrum Disorder: An evaluation of potential mechanisms.en_GB
dc.typeThesis or dissertationen_GB
dc.date.available2022-04-04T08:22:49Z
dc.contributor.advisorVine, Sam
dc.contributor.advisorBuckingham, Gavin
dc.contributor.advisorBrosnan, Mark
dc.publisher.departmentSport and Health Sciences
dc.rights.urihttp://www.rioxx.net/licenses/all-rights-reserveden_GB
dc.type.degreetitlePhD in Health and Wellbeing
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoral
dc.type.qualificationnameDoctoral Thesis
rioxxterms.versionNAen_GB
rioxxterms.licenseref.startdate2022-03-14
rioxxterms.typeThesisen_GB
refterms.dateFOA2022-04-04T08:25:28Z


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