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Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 395–403 | Cite as

Individuals with Asperger’s Disorder Exhibit Difficulty in Switching Attention from a Local Level to a Global Level

  • Masatoshi KatagiriEmail author
  • Tetsuko Kasai
  • Yoko Kamio
  • Harumitsu Murohashi
Original Paper

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to determine whether individuals with Asperger’s disorder exhibit difficulty in switching attention from a local level to a global level. Eleven participants with Asperger’s disorder and 11 age- and gender-matched healthy controls performed a level-repetition switching task using Navon-type hierarchical stimuli. In both groups, level-repetition was beneficial at both levels. Furthermore, individuals with Asperger’s disorder exhibited difficulty in switching attention from a local level to a global level compared to control individuals. These findings suggested that there is a problem with the inhibitory mechanism that influences the output of enhanced local visual processing in Asperger’s disorder.

Keywords

Asperger’s disorder Level-repetition Switching Global Local 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank all of the participants for making this research possible. We would also like to thank Dr. Tsukishima and Dr. Nakano for their help. We are grateful to Ms. Numata, Ms. Watanabe, Ms. Uematsu and Dr. Matsui for their helpful and insightful comments on this article. This study was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (no. 23730870).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masatoshi Katagiri
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Tetsuko Kasai
    • 3
  • Yoko Kamio
    • 2
  • Harumitsu Murohashi
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Neuropsychiatry and Neuropsychology, Graduate School of MedicineUniversity of ToyamaToyamaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, National Institute of Mental HealthNational Center of Neurology and PsychiatryTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Faculty of EducationHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

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