Deficits in Eye Movement Control in Adults with FASD
Individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) are believed to be overrepresented in the criminal justice system (CJS). However, accurate reporting of prevalence rates of FASD in the CJS is a significant clinical challenge. This is a reflection of the fact that the diagnostic process requires collaboration from a multidisciplinary team, and there is a low clinical capacity in Canada for diagnosing FASD. In addition, screening every individual that enters the CJS in this way is prohibitively expensive. However, identifying individuals with FASD in the CJS is essential for two reasons. First, understanding the true prevalence rates of FASD will aid in developing much-needed programming and rehabilitation plans to better address the needs of these individuals. Second, rapid identification of these individuals within the CJS will lead to better outcomes for the individuals, and potentially reduce the high rates of recidivism. Tracking eye movement behaviours has been shown to differentiate children with FASD from typically developing controls. This may be due to the substantial overlap in the areas of the brain known to control saccades, and the areas known to be sensitive to prenatal alcohol exposure. To the best of our knowledge, studies investigating eye movement control in adults with FASD have never been performed. The objective of this study was to investigate whether eye tracking can differentiate between adults with FASD in the CJS and control groups for each factor (FASD and CJS involvement). In this study, criminal justice involvement did not significantly affect eye movement control. As a result, adults with FASD were compared directly with adults without FASD, regardless of criminal justice involvement. Compared with control adults (n=22), adults with FASD (n=15) exhibited significant differences in eye movement performance, including an overall decreased proportion of correct trials, as well as deficits in accuracy, attention, response inhibition, working memory, and variability. These results support the notion that eye movement tracking identifies differences in brain function between adults with FASD and controls, and could contribute to an inexpensive, rapid, and reliable screening tool for FASD that may one day be used in the CJS.
URI for this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/24283
Request an alternative formatIf you require this document in an alternate, accessible format, please contact the Queen's Adaptive Technology Centre
The following license files are associated with this item: