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Autism. 2009 Mar;13(2):133-42. doi: 10.1177/1362361308098515.

Autistic traits predict performance on the block design.

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  • 1Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland. m.e.stewart


The Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) has been developed to measure the degree to which an adult with normal intelligence has autistic traits. Although use of the AQ has resulted in a number of important findings, few studies have assessed whether scores predict cognitive aspects of ASD. This study assessed whether AQ scores predicted performance on an adapted block design. The test was adapted with a 'whole' and a 'segmented' task. High AQ scorers performed better than low scorers on the 'whole' task in the block design but performed equivalently on the 'segmented' task, as would be predicted in the autism spectrum. These findings add to the evidence showing construct validity for the AQ.

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