The article discussed a study published in Current Biology that examined eye movements of identical and fraternal twins who were 11 years old. The study showed that twins tend to look at the same parts of pictures, while unrelated children have different gaze patterns. The findings suggest that genes have an impact on eye movements well into childhood.
A separate study, which was published in July 2017 and involved toddlers, found that genetics may explain why children with autism tend to avoid eye contact. According to Spectrum, these studies “highlight the need to dig deeper into the brain mechanisms that govern gaze in both typical children and those with autism.”
Commenting on the findings, Elison, who was not involved in either study, said, “The idea that this behavior may persist from 24 months to 11 years old might suggest that this behavior becomes exceptionally entrenched and is less vulnerable to interventions.”