Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 40, Issue 8, pp 978–987 | Cite as

Spatial Contrast Sensitivity in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Original Paper

Abstract

Adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and typically developing (TD) controls underwent a rigorous psychophysical assessment that measured contrast sensitivity to seven spatial frequencies (0.5–20 cycles/degree). A contrast sensitivity function (CSF) was then fitted for each participant, from which four measures were obtained: visual acuity, peak spatial frequency, peak contrast sensitivity, and contrast sensitivity at a low spatial frequency. There were no group differences on any of the four CSF measures, indicating no differential spatial frequency processing in ASD. Although it has been suggested that detail-oriented visual perception in individuals with ASD may be a result of differential sensitivities to low versus high spatial frequencies, the current study finds no evidence to support this hypothesis.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorders Spatial frequency Contrast sensitivity Visual acuity Perception Visual psychophysics 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe University of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CaliforniaSan Diego, La JollaUSA

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