University of Oulu

Dindar, K., Loukusa, S., Helminen, T.M. et al. Social-Pragmatic Inferencing, Visual Social Attention and Physiological Reactivity to Complex Social Scenes in Autistic Young Adults. J Autism Dev Disord (2021).

Social-pragmatic inferencing, visual social attention and physiological reactivity to complex social scenes in autistic young adults

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Author: Dindar, Katja1; Loukusa, Soile1; Helminen, Terhi M.2;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Logopedics, Faculty of Humanities, University of Oulu, PO Box 1000, 90014, Oulu, Finland
2Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
3Department of Educational Sciences and Teacher Education, Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Learning Research Laboratory, Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5PEDEGO Research Unit, Clinic of Child Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6Research Unit of Clinical Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-04-21


This study examined social-pragmatic inferencing, visual social attention and physiological reactivity to complex social scenes. Participants were autistic young adults (n = 14) and a control group of young adults (n = 14) without intellectual disability. Results indicate between-group differences in social-pragmatic inferencing, moment-level social attention and heart rate variability (HRV) reactivity. A key finding suggests associations between increased moment-level social attention to facial emotion expressions, better social-pragmatic inferencing and greater HRV suppression in autistic young adults. Supporting previous research, better social-pragmatic inferencing was found associated with less autistic traits.

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Series: Journal of autism and developmental disorders
ISSN: 0162-3257
ISSN-E: 1573-3432
ISSN-L: 0162-3257
Volume: In press
DOI: 10.1007/s10803-021-04915-y
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 515 Psychology
6121 Languages
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital. Funding for this research was awarded from the Academy of Finland (276578, 333672), Eudaimonia Institute of the University of Oulu, Finland, the Alma and K. A. Snellman Foundation, Finland, and the Finnish Brain Foundation, Finland (earlier the Rinnekoti Research Foundation, Finland, and the Child Psychiatric Research Foundation, Finland).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 276578
Detailed Information: 276578 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
333672 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2021. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit