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Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 6/2013

01-06-2013 | Original Paper

Visual Search Targeting Either Local or Global Perceptual Processes Differs as a Function of Autistic-Like Traits in the Typically Developing Population

Auteurs: Renita A. Almeida, J. Edwin Dickinson, Murray T. Maybery, Johanna C. Badcock, David R. Badcock

Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders | Uitgave 6/2013

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Abstract

Relative to low scorers, high scorers on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) show enhanced performance on the Embedded Figures Test and the Radial Frequency search task (RFST), which has been attributed to both enhanced local processing and differences in combining global percepts. We investigate the role of local and global processing further using the RFST in four experiments. High AQ adults maintained a consistent advantage in search speed across diverse target-distracter stimulus conditions. This advantage may reflect enhanced local processing of curvature in early stages of the form vision pathway and superior global detection of shape primitives. However, more probable is the presence of a superior search process that enables a consistent search advantage at both levels of processing.
Voetnoten
1
The standard deviation of a ratio (σr) depends on the individual gradients being compared, a & b, their standard deviations (σa & σb) and the correlation between the two measures (ρab) as follows: \( \sigma_{r} = \frac{a}{b}\sqrt {\left( {\frac{{\sigma_{a} }}{a}} \right)^{2}\, + \,\left( {\frac{{\sigma_{b} }}{b}} \right)^{2}\, -\, 2\frac{{\sigma_{a} \sigma_{b} }}{ab}\rho_{ab} } \)
Since the correlation (ρab) is zero for the current data the final term has no impact on the calculation in this case.
 
2
The modulation applied to the RF3 and RF4 contours results in identical maximum curvatures at a single point on the contours. Although the receptive fields of curvature detectors are not restricted to an infinitely small region and contours in the vicinity of the point of maximum curvature will differ between target and distracters, a local curvature detection mechanism cannot account for discriminating between the two, as an investigation of RF3 detection threshold differences between high and low AQ groups revealed no threshold curvature detection differences (Almeida et al. 2011).
 
3
This was true for all four RF search task experiments.
 
4
The path length of each ‘piece’ was one cycle in positive cosine phase with respect to the mid-point of the arc. That is, each piece was created by starting at the maximum negative modulation amplitude and extending to the next negative maximum. The radii of the RF3 pieces were created and then scaled using the equation below to ensure that both target (RF3) and distracter (RF4) pieces had the same length. \( r(\theta ) = \frac{{\omega r_{{\rm mean}} }}{4} \times \left( {1 + \left( {\frac{1}{{1 + \omega^{2} }}} \right)\cos (\omega \theta + \varphi )} \right),\quad {\text{where}}\, -\pi \le (\omega \theta\, + \,\varphi )\le \pi \)
The parameters have the same meaning as in Eq. 1.
 
5
Correlations were also significant between the AQ and the search slopes derived from the other RF search tasks: (a) Experiment 2 (r(44) = −.550, p < .001); (b) Experiment 3 (r(44) = −.432, p < .01); and (c) Experiment 4 (r(44) = −.445, p < .01).
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Visual Search Targeting Either Local or Global Perceptual Processes Differs as a Function of Autistic-Like Traits in the Typically Developing Population
Auteurs
Renita A. Almeida
J. Edwin Dickinson
Murray T. Maybery
Johanna C. Badcock
David R. Badcock
Publicatiedatum
01-06-2013
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders / Uitgave 6/2013
Print ISSN: 0162-3257
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-3432
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-012-1669-7