Evidence for a Cultural Influence on Field-Independence in Autism Spectrum Disorder
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Field-independence, or weak central coherence, is a recognised phenotype of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). There is also evidence of cultural variation in this perceptual style, as neurotypical individuals from Western nations are more field-independent than neurotypical individuals from East-Asian nations. The majority of research on perceptual style in those with ASD has been carried out in Western nations therefore it is unclear whether increased field-independence in ASD is a culturally universal phenotype. Here, we assessed perceptual style in children with and without ASD from England and Singapore using the Children’s Embedded Figures Test and the Framed-Line Test. We found increased field-independence in the English participants with ASD only, suggesting that weak central coherence in ASD is not culturally universal.
KeywordsPerceptual style Weak central coherence Culture Autism spectrum disorders
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