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Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 10/2014

01-10-2014 | Letter to the Editor

Is the Ability to Integrate Parts into Wholes Affected in Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Auteurs: Olufemi Olu-Lafe, Jacqueline Liederman, Helen Tager-Flusberg

Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders | Uitgave 10/2014

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Abstract

There is considerable debate about whether people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are biased toward local information and whether this disrupts their ability to integrate two complex shapes elements into a single figure. Moreover, few have examined the relationship between integration ability and ASD symptom severity. Adolescent/adult males with ASD and age and IQ-matched controls were compared on their performance of a simple silhouette-to-shape matching task and a higher-order shape-integration task. Relative to basic silhouette-to-shape matching, ASD participants were disproportionately slower than controls on shape-integration. Moreover, this relative slowing correlated with increased symptom severity in ASD participants. These findings support the notion that integrating local information is disproportionately more challenging in ASD; this weakness may play a role in ASD symptomatology.
Voetnoten
1
Since the ASD sample size was 20, there was a risk concern that the findings might have been pulled by an outlier and/or the use of covariates. We tightened our cutpoint from 2.5 to 2.0 SD from the mean of the ST2–ST1 RT difference score. One participant’s SD was 2.1; we labeled him a potential outlier. We retested the strength of the correlation between SRS Motivation Score and the ST2–ST1 RT difference score remained between .51 and 5.3 (p < .05) with or without the potential outlier and/or the covariates. We used the comparison of two correlations with one variable in common from the same sample (Meng et al. 1992) to assure the reader that the ST2–ST1 RT difference score was in fact more strongly correlated with the Motivation subscale than either (a) the Overall SRS score (z = −2.369. p = .01); (b) the Mannerisms subscale, highlighted because it is a measure of non-social repetitive behavior (z = −2.734, p = .01); and (c) the Awareness Score, which was the next strongest correlation (z = −2.00, p < .05). Finally, in terms of the ST2–ST1 RT difference score, when all 20 ASD participants were included, the group effect was F(1, 38) = 16.29, p < .001. The group effect remained significant (p < .05) without the potential outlier and/or the covariates.
 
2
One of the reviewers suggested an alternative interpretation of our data which we think is intriguing: “Individuals with ASD who find integration of information difficult may find they ‘get things wrong’ socially and so lose motivation to try”.
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Is the Ability to Integrate Parts into Wholes Affected in Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Auteurs
Olufemi Olu-Lafe
Jacqueline Liederman
Helen Tager-Flusberg
Publicatiedatum
01-10-2014
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders / Uitgave 10/2014
Print ISSN: 0162-3257
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-3432
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-014-2120-z

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