Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 11, pp 2383–2392

Flexible Visual Processing in Young Adults with Autism: The Effects of Implicit Learning on a Global–Local Task

  • Dana A. Hayward
  • David I. Shore
  • Jelena Ristic
  • Hanna Kovshoff
  • Grace Iarocci
  • Laurent Mottron
  • Jacob A. Burack
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-012-1485-0

Cite this article as:
Hayward, D.A., Shore, D.I., Ristic, J. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2012) 42: 2383. doi:10.1007/s10803-012-1485-0

Abstract

We utilized a hierarchical figures task to determine the default level of perceptual processing and the flexibility of visual processing in a group of high-functioning young adults with autism (n = 12) and a typically developing young adults, matched by chronological age and IQ (n = 12). In one task, participants attended to one level of the figure and ignored the other in order to determine the default level of processing. In the other task, participants attended to both levels and the proportion of trials in which a target would occur at either level was manipulated. Both groups exhibited a global processing bias and showed similar flexibility in performance, suggesting that persons with autism may not be impaired in flexible shifting between task levels.

Keywords

High-functioning autismVisual attentionHierarchical figuresImplicit learning

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dana A. Hayward
    • 1
  • David I. Shore
    • 2
  • Jelena Ristic
    • 1
  • Hanna Kovshoff
    • 3
  • Grace Iarocci
    • 4
  • Laurent Mottron
    • 5
  • Jacob A. Burack
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMcGill UniversityMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour (PNB)McMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  3. 3.School of PsychologyUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  4. 4.Department of PsychologySimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  5. 5.Clinique Spécialisée des Troubles Envahissants du DéveloppementHôpital Rivière-des-PrariesMontréalCanada
  6. 6.Department of Education and Counselling PsychologyMcGill UniversityMontréalCanada