Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 40, Issue 8, pp 968–977 | Cite as

Are the Autism and Positive Schizotypy Spectra Diametrically Opposed in Local Versus Global Processing?

  • Suzanna N. Russell-Smith
  • Murray T. Maybery
  • Donna M. Bayliss
Original Paper


Crespi and Badcock (2008) proposed that autism and psychosis represent two extremes on a cognitive spectrum with normality at its center. Their specific claim that autistic and positive schizophrenia traits contrastingly affect preference for local versus global processing was investigated by examining Embedded Figures Test performance in two groups of students separated on autistic-like traits but matched on positive schizotypy traits, and two groups separated on positive schizotypy traits but matched on autistic-like traits (n = 20 per group). Consistent with their theory, higher levels of autistic-like traits were associated with faster identification of hidden figures, whereas higher levels of positive schizotypy traits were associated with slower identification.


Autism Schizotypy Local–global processing Visual search Embedded figures 



This research was partly supported by NH & MRC Project Grant 403942 to M. T. Maybery, D. R. Badcock, J. C. Badcock and E. Pellicano.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzanna N. Russell-Smith
    • 1
  • Murray T. Maybery
    • 1
  • Donna M. Bayliss
    • 1
  1. 1.Neurocognitive Development Unit, School of PsychologyUniversity of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia

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