Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 27–43

Enhanced Perceptual Functioning in Autism: An Update, and Eight Principles of Autistic Perception

Authors

    • Pervasive Developmental Disorders Specialized Clinic, Rivière-des-Prairies Hospital, & Fernand Seguin Research CenterUniversity of Montréal
    • Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Montréal
    • Hôpital Rivière-des-Prairies
  • Michelle Dawson
    • Pervasive Developmental Disorders Specialized Clinic, Rivière-des-Prairies Hospital, & Fernand Seguin Research CenterUniversity of Montréal
  • Isabelle Soulières
    • Pervasive Developmental Disorders Specialized Clinic, Rivière-des-Prairies Hospital, & Fernand Seguin Research CenterUniversity of Montréal
    • Départment of PsychologyUniversity of Montréal
  • Benedicte Hubert
    • Pervasive Developmental Disorders Specialized Clinic, Rivière-des-Prairies Hospital, & Fernand Seguin Research CenterUniversity of Montréal
    • Université de Provence-Côte d’Azur
  • Jake Burack
    • Pervasive Developmental Disorders Specialized Clinic, Rivière-des-Prairies Hospital, & Fernand Seguin Research CenterUniversity of Montréal
    • Department of Educational PsychologyMcGill University
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-005-0040-7

Cite this article as:
Mottron, L., Dawson, M., Soulières, I. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2006) 36: 27. doi:10.1007/s10803-005-0040-7

We propose an “Enhanced Perceptual Functioning” model encompassing the main differences between autistic and non-autistic social and non-social perceptual processing: locally oriented visual and auditory perception, enhanced low-level discrimination, use of a more posterior network in “complex” visual tasks, enhanced perception of first order static stimuli, diminished perception of complex movement, autonomy of low-level information processing toward higher-order operations, and differential relation between perception and general intelligence. Increased perceptual expertise may be implicated in the choice of special ability in savant autistics, and in the variability of apparent presentations within PDD (autism with and without typical speech, Asperger syndrome) in non-savant autistics. The overfunctioning of brain regions typically involved in primary perceptual functions may explain the autistic perceptual endophenotype.

Keywords

Perceptionenhanced perceptual functioningautismAsperger syndromeexpertisesavant syndromelocal and global processingfMRI

Copyright information

© Springer 2006