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Eye Contact Rooted in Our Genes, Study Says

Date Published: 
July 13, 2017

A new study suggests that our genes influence how we make eye contact with others during social situations. A failure to make eye contact is considered an early sign of autism.

Researchers measured the eye contact given by identical and fraternal twin pairs, who do not have autism. The identical twins, who share the same genes, had more similar eye gaze patterns than the fraternal twins, who share about half their genes. Unrelated children who were typically developing, as well as children with autism, had different patterns.

The study, published in Nature, was conducted by Dr. John Constantino and other prominent autism researchers.