Enhanced global integration of closed contours in individuals with high levels of autistic-like traits

R.A. Almeida, Edwin Dickinson, Murray Maybery, Johanna Badcock, David Badcock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2014. Individuals with autistic traits (measured with Autism-spectrum Quotient, AQ) often excel in detecting shapes hidden within complex structures (e.g. on the Embedded Figures Test, EFT). This facility has been attributed to either weaker global integration of scene elements or enhanced local processing, but 'local' and 'global' have various meanings in the literature. The function of specific global visual mechanisms involved in integrating contours, similar to EFT targets was examined. High AQ scorers produced enhanced performance on the EFT and an alternative Radial Frequency Search Task. Contrary to 'generic' interpretations of weaker global pooling, this group displayed stronger pooling of contour components that was correlated with search ability. This study therefore shows a global contour integration advantage in high AQ observers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-115
Number of pages7
JournalVision Research
Volume103
Early online date28 Aug 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014

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