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Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 11/2011

01-11-2011 | Brief Report

Brief Report: Perceptual Load and the Autism Spectrum in Typically Developed Individuals

Auteurs: Andrew P. Bayliss, Ada Kritikos

Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders | Uitgave 11/2011

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Abstract

A fundamental task of the cognitive system is to prioritize behaviourally relevant sensory inputs for processing at the expense of irrelevant inputs. In a study of neurotypical participants (n = 179), we utilized a brief flanker interference task while varying the perceptual load of the visual display. Typically, increasing perceptual load (i.e., with greater numbers of search items) reduces interference from a competing peripheral distractor. We show that individuals who score above average on the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) show stronger interference at high perceptual load than individuals with below-average AQ scores. This is consistent with recent findings in individuals with autism spectrum conditions, and supports the idea that the cognitive style of the autistic brain is reflected in a broader phenotype across the population.
Voetnoten
1
Data from an additional 11 participants were discarded due to high error rates (>30%).
 
2
The pattern of results is the same with the cut-offs originally used by Bayliss and Tipper (2005). With Low (AQ < 14; n = 82) and High (AQ > 17; n = 53) groups showing equal interference effects at Set Size Two, t(133) = 1.04, p = .30, d = .18, but the High AQ group showed stronger interference at Set Size Four, t(133) = 2.14, p = .035, d = .38. Finally, we also calculated linear correlations between AQ score and RT Interference (in ms) for both Set Sizes for the sample as a whole. At Set Size Two, there was no significant linear relationship, r = .09, n = 179, p = .25, two-tailed. Corroborating the other analyses, the correlation was significant at Set Size Four, r = .17, n = 179, p = .027, two-tailed. The quadratic relationship between AQ score and interference effect magnitude was non-significant (r < .1).
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Brief Report: Perceptual Load and the Autism Spectrum in Typically Developed Individuals
Auteurs
Andrew P. Bayliss
Ada Kritikos
Publicatiedatum
01-11-2011
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders / Uitgave 11/2011
Print ISSN: 0162-3257
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-3432
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-010-1159-8