Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Implicit social learning in relation to autistic-like traits

Hudson, Matthew; Nijboer, Tanja C. W.; Jellema, Tjeerd


Matthew Hudson

Tanja C. W. Nijboer


We investigated if variation in autistic traits inthe typically-developed population (using the AutismspectrumQuotient, AQ) influenced implicit learning ofsocial information. In the learning phase, participantsrepeatedly observed two identities whose gaze andexpression conveyed either a pro- or antisocial disposition.These identities were then employed in a gaze-cueingparadigm. Participants made speeded responses to aperipheral target that was spatially pre-cued by a nonpredictivegaze direction. The low AQ group (n = 50)showed a smaller gaze-cueing effect for the antisocial thanfor the prosocial identity. The high AQ group (n = 48)showed equivalent gaze-cueing for both identities. Others'intentions/dispositions can be learned implicitly and affectsubsequent responses to their behavior. This ability isimpaired with increasing levels of autistic traits.


Hudson, M., Nijboer, T. C. W., & Jellema, T. (2012). Implicit social learning in relation to autistic-like traits. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42(12), 2534-2545.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 31, 2012
Online Publication Date Mar 24, 2012
Publication Date 2012-12
Journal Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Print ISSN 0162-3257
Electronic ISSN 1573-3432
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 42
Issue 12
Pages 2534-2545
Keywords Intention, Gaze direction, Autism spectrum, Emotional expression, Gaze cueing, Implicit learning
Public URL