Fragile X syndrome is the most common cause of inherited intellectual impairment and the most common single-gene cause of autism. Individuals with Fragile X syndrome present with a neurobehavioural phenotype that includes selective deficits in spatiotemporal visual perception associated with neural processing in frontal–parietal networks of the brain. The goal of the current study was to examine whether reduced resolution of spatial and/or temporal visual attention may underlie perceptual deficits related to Fragile X syndrome. Eye tracking was used to psychophysically measure the limits of spatial and temporal attention in infants with Fragile X syndrome and age-matched neurotypically developing infants. Results from these experiments revealed that infants with Fragile X syndrome experience drastically reduced resolution of temporal attention in a genetic dose-sensitive manner, but have a spatial resolution of attention that is not impaired. Coarse temporal attention could have significant knock-on effects for the development of perceptual, cognitive and motor abilities in individuals with the disorder.

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Resolution of spatial and temporal visual attention in infants with Fragile X syndrome