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01-07-2020 | Original Paper Open Access

The Effect of Visual Perceptual Load on Auditory Awareness of Social vs. Non-social Stimuli in Individuals with Autism

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Auteurs:
Julian Tillmann, Jyrki Tuomainen, John Swettenham
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10803-020-04587-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Abstract

This study examined the effect of increasing visual perceptual load on auditory awareness for social and non-social stimuli in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD, n = 63) and typically developing (TD, n = 62) adolescents. Using an inattentional deafness paradigm, a socially meaningful (‘Hi’) or a non-social (neutral tone) critical stimulus (CS) was unexpectedly presented under high and low load. For the social CS both groups continued to show high awareness rates as load increased. Awareness rates for the non-social stimulus were reduced when load increased for the TD, but not the ASD group. The findings indicate enhanced capacity for non-social stimuli in ASD compared to TD, and a special attentional status for social stimuli in the TD group.

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