Brief Report: The Relationship Between Visual Acuity, the Embedded Figures Test and Systemizing in Autism Spectrum Disorders
- 918 Downloads
Enhanced performance upon the Embedded Figures Test (EFT) in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has informed psychological theories of the non-social aspects that characterise ASD. The Extreme Male Brain theory of autism proposes that enhanced visual acuity underpins greater attention to detail (assessed by the EFT) which is a prerequisite for Systemizing. To date, however, no study has empirically examined these relationships. 13 males with ASD and 13 male controls were assessed upon tasks argued to reflect these levels of processing. The ASD group were found to have significantly greater visual acuity, EFT performance and Systemizing ability than the control group. However, regression analysis revealed that the strongest relationship was between visual acuity and EFT performance.
KeywordsAutism Visual acuity Embedded Figures Test (EFT) Systemizing
- Bach, M. (1996). The Freiburg Visual Acuity test (FrACT)–automatic measurement of visual acuity. Optometry and Vision Science, 73, 49–53. [FrACT is available at: http://www.michaelbach.de/fract/index.html. Last accessed November 25th, 2011].
- Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Scahill, V., Lawson, J., & Spong, A. (2001). Are intuitive physics and intuitive psychology independent? A test with children with Asperger Syndrome. Journal of Developmental and Learning Disorders, 5, 47–78.Google Scholar
- Bölte, S., Schlitt, S., Gapp, V., Hainz, D., Schirman, S., Poustka, F., Walter, H. (2011). A close eye on the eagle-eyed visual acuity hypothesis of autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders [Epub ahead of print].Google Scholar
- O’Riordan, M., & Plaisted, K. (2001). Enhanced discrimination in autism. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 54A, 961–979.Google Scholar
- Plaisted, K. C. (2001). Reduced generalization: An alternative to weak central coherence. In J. A. Burack, A. Charman, N. Yirmiya, & P. R. Zelazo (Eds.), Development and autism: Perspectives from theory and research. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Wechsler, D. (1999). Wechsler abbreviated scale of intelligence (WASI). San Antonio, TX: Harcourt Assessment.Google Scholar
- Witkin, H., Oltman, P., Raskin, E., & Karp, S. (1971). A manual for the Embedded Figures Test. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc.Google Scholar