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Front Biosci. 2001 Feb 1;6:D105-19.

Attention function and dysfunction in autism.

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Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, USA.


Impairments of attention are among the most consistently reported cognitive deficits in autism, and they continue to be a key focus of research. This is in no doubt due to the importance of normal attention function to the development of many so-called "higher level" cognitive operations, and to the likely involvement of attention dysfunction in certain clinical features of autism. Autistic individuals display a wide range of attentional abilities and deficits across the many domains of attention function, including selective, sustained, spatial, and shifting attention operations. This unique pattern of attention function and dysfunction has profound implications for the development and treatment of autistic children. The present review will explore this pattern of attentional strengths and weaknesses and the neural defects that underlie them.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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