Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 37, Issue 8, pp 1493–1504 | Cite as

Gestalt Perception and Local-Global Processing in High-Functioning Autism

  • Sven Bölte
  • Martin Holtmann
  • Fritz Poustka
  • Armin Scheurich
  • Lutz Schmidt
Original Paper

Abstract

This study examined gestalt perception in high-functioning autism (HFA) and its relation to tasks indicative of local visual processing. Data on of gestalt perception, visual illusions (VI), hierarchical letters (HL), Block Design (BD) and the Embedded Figures Test (EFT) were collected in adult males with HFA, schizophrenia, depression and normative controls. Individuals with HFA processed gestalt stimuli less in accord with gestalt laws, particularly regarding the principle of similarity. Gestalt processing correlated positively with global processing of the HL. EFT and BD performance correlated negatively with VI susceptibility in HFA. All clinical groups succumbed less to VI than the normative sample. Results suggest decreased gestalt perception in HFA, being associated with a more general local visual processing bias.

Keywords

Autism Gestalt psychology Perception Cognition Visual illusions Visual-spatial functioning 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sven Bölte
    • 1
  • Martin Holtmann
    • 1
  • Fritz Poustka
    • 1
  • Armin Scheurich
    • 2
  • Lutz Schmidt
    • 2
  1. 1.Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie des Kindes - und JugendaltersJohann Wolfgang Goethe-UniversitätsklinikumFrankfurt/MGermany
  2. 2.Johannes Gutenberg-UniversityMainzGermany

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