Computational Approaches to Measurement of Visual Attention: Modeling Overselectivity in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

UMMS Affiliation

Shriver Center; Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center

Publication Date


Document Type

Book Chapter


Mental Disorders | Neuroscience and Neurobiology


Alterations in gazing patterns and visual attention have often been noted among patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) relative to neurotypical individuals. Here, the authors discuss visual attention with a particular focus on attention overselectivity. Overselectivity is observed when a subject focuses on a limited subset of available stimuli, or attends to a limited spatial field of vision. It is a widely-observed problem among individuals with IDD, notably, children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In this chapter, the authors survey computational and experimental approaches to analyze selective visual attention patterns, including overselectivity. These may provide useful computational frameworks for modeling visual attention in ASD patients and quantifying how it differs from neurotypical patterns. Computer-automated routines would be a boon for the field, distilling key dependent measures for aberrant attentional processes (a) for group studies of pathological processes and (b) on a single-subject basis for clinical description and possible remediation of attentional deficits.

DOI of Published Version



Haspel, N., Shell, A., & Deutsch, C. K. (2013). Computational approaches to measurement of visual attention: Modeling overselectivity in intellectual and developmental disabilities. In M. Pomplun, & J. Suzuki (Eds.), Developing and applying biologicallyInspired vision systems: Interdisciplinary concepts (pp. 31-43). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2539-6.ch002

Link to this book on Google Books.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Developing and applying biologically