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16-02-2019 | Brief Communication | Uitgave 6/2019 Open Access

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 6/2019

Visual Search Performance Does Not Relate to Autistic Traits in the General Population

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders > Uitgave 6/2019
David López Pérez, Daniel P. Kennedy, Przemysław Tomalski, Sven Bölte, Brian D’Onofrio, Terje Falck-Ytter
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10803-019-03907-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is commonly conceived as the extreme end of a continuum. Research suggests that autistic individuals outperform typically developing controls in visual search. Thus, enhanced visual search may represent an adaptive trait associated with ASD. Here, using a large general population sample (N = 608, aged 9–14 years), we tested if higher levels of autistic traits are associated with enhanced visual search. Visual search was evaluated using both manual responses and eye movements, and autistic traits were measured using the Social Responsiveness Scale. Contrary to our hypothesis, no significant relation between autistic traits and visual search were observed. The theoretical implications of these results are discussed.

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