Seeing the Forest and the Trees: Default Local Processing in Individuals with High Autistic Traits Does Not Come at the Expense of Global Attention
- 532 Downloads
Atypical sensory perception is one of the most ubiquitous symptoms of autism, including a tendency towards a local-processing bias. We investigated whether local-processing biases were associated with global-processing impairments on a global/local attentional-scope paradigm in conjunction with a composite-face task. Behavioural results were related to individuals’ levels of autistic traits, specifically the Attention to Detail subscale of the Autism Quotient, and the Sensory Profile Questionnaire. Individuals showing high rates of Attention to Detail were more susceptible to global attentional-scope manipulations, suggesting that local-processing biases associated with Attention to Detail do not come at the cost of a global-processing deficit, but reflect a difference in default global versus local bias. This relationship operated at the attentional/perceptual level, but not response criterion.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Face recognition Sensory processing Composite-face effect Vision Attention Global processing Local processing
R.S.—NSERC Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, CIHR Autism Research Training program; S.S.—NSERC CGS-M Scholarship; J.C.—NSERC Discovery Grant 435647-2013; M.B.—Scholar Award from the James S McDonnell Foundation, CIHR Grant MOP-115148; S.F.—NSERC Grant 216203-13, CIHR Grant 106436.
- American Psychiatric Association, American Psychiatric Association, DSM-5 Task Force. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5, 5th edn. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
- Association, A. P. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, text revision (DSM-IV-TR). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
- Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Skinner, R., Martin, J., & Clubley, E. (2001a). The autism-spectrum quotient (AQ): Evidence from asperger syndrome/high-functioning autism, malesand females, scientists and mathematicians. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31, 5–17.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Hill, J., Raste, Y., & Plumb, I. (2001b). The “Reading the Mind in the Eyes” test revised version: A study with normal adults, and adults with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 42, 241–251.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Brown, C., & Dunn, W. (2002). Adolescent-adult sensory profile: User’s manual. Therapy Skill Builders.Google Scholar
- Ekman, P. (1972). Universals and cultural differences in facial expression of emotion. In: J. Cole (Ed.), Nebraska symposium on motivation, 1971. (pp. 207–283). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar
- Foxe, J. J., et al. (2013). Severe multisensory speech integration deficits in high-functioning school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their resolution during early adolescence. Cerebral Cortex, bht213.Google Scholar
- Hoekstra, R. A., Bartels, M., Cath, D. C., & Boomsma, D. I. (2008). Factor structure, reliability and criterion validity of the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ): A study in Dutch population and patient groups. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 1555–1566.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Iarocci, G., Burack, J. A., Shore, D. I., Mottron, L., & Enns, J. T. (2006). Global–local visual processing in high functioning children with autism: structural vs. implicit task biases. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36, 117–129. doi: 10.1007/s10803-005-0045-2.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Kanner, L. (1943). Autistic disturbances of affective contact. Nervous Child, 2, 217–250.Google Scholar
- Kenny, L., Hattersley, C., Molins, B., Buckley, C., Povey, C., & Pellicano, E. (2015). Which terms should be used to describe autism? Perspectives from the UK autism community. Autism. doi: 10.1177/1362361315588200.
- Mottron, L., Burack, J. A., Iarocci, G., Belleville, S., & Enns, J. T. (2003). Locally oriented perception with intact global processing among adolescents with high-functioning autism: evidence from multiple paradigms. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 44, 904–913.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Stevenson, R. A., Segers, M., Ferber, S., Barense, M. D., Camarata, S., & Wallace, M. T. (2015). Keeping time in the brain: Autism spectrum disorder and audiovisual temporal processing. Autism Research. doi: 10.1002/aur.1566.
- Van der Hallen, R., Evers, K., Brewaeys, K., Van den Noortgate, W., & Wagemans, J. (2014). Global processing takes time: A meta-analysis on local-global visual processing in ASD. Psychological bulletin, 141, 549–573. doi: 10.1037/bul0000004.