Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 339–349

A Specific Autistic Trait that Modulates Visuospatial Illusion Susceptibility

  • Elizabeth Walter
  • Paul Dassonville
  • Tiana M. Bochsler
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-008-0630-2

Cite this article as:
Walter, E., Dassonville, P. & Bochsler, T.M. J Autism Dev Disord (2009) 39: 339. doi:10.1007/s10803-008-0630-2


Although several accounts of autism have predicted that the disorder should be associated with a decreased susceptibility to visual illusions, previous experimental results have been mixed. This study examined whether a link between autism and illusion susceptibility can be more convincingly demonstrated by assessing the relationships between susceptibility and the extent to which several individual autistic traits are exhibited as a continuum in a population of college students. A significant relationship was observed between the systemizing trait and susceptibility to a subset of the tested illusions (the rod-and-frame, Roelofs, Ponzo and Poggendorff illusions). These results provide support for the idea that autism involves an imbalance between the processing of local and global cues, more heavily weighted toward local features than in the typically developed individual.


Autism Perception Illusions Systemizing 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Walter
    • 1
    • 2
  • Paul Dassonville
    • 1
  • Tiana M. Bochsler
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Institute of NeuroscienceUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA
  2. 2.Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences ResearchStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Robert D. Clark Honors College and Department of PsychologyUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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