Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Neuropsychologia. 2012 Apr;50(5):733-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2012.01.007. Epub 2012 Jan 13.

Enhanced local processing of dynamic visual information in autism: evidence from speed discrimination.

Author information

1
McLean Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, United States. ychen@mclean.harvard.edu

Abstract

An important issue for understanding visual perception in autism concerns whether individuals with this neurodevelopmental disorder possess an advantage in processing local visual information, and if so, what is the nature of this advantage. Perception of movement speed is a visual process that relies on computation of local spatiotemporal signals but requires the comparison of information from more than a single spatial location or temporal point. This study examined speed discrimination in adolescents (ages 13-18 years old) with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Compared to healthy controls (n=17), individuals with ASD (n=19) showed similarly precise speed discrimination when two comparison motion stimuli (random dot patterns) were presented closely in time (0.5s). With a longer temporal interval (3s) between the motion stimuli, individuals with ASD outperformed healthy controls on speed discrimination. On a second task--global motion perception--in which individuals were asked to detect coherent motion, individuals with ASD exhibited slightly degraded performance levels. The observed temporally selective enhancement in speed discrimination indicates that a local processing advantage in autism develops over a longer temporal range and is not limited to the spatial domain. These results suggest a dynamic perceptual mechanism for understanding, and therapeutically addressing, atypical visual processing in this neurodevelopmental disorder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center