AN STUDY OF WEAK CENTRAL COHERENCE IN CHILDREN HAVING AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER

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Dr. Sana Javed Awan , Dr. Hafiza Amna Aman ,Dr. Fatima Khalid

Perceptual abnormalities have long been observed in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Research suggests that superior visual processing on a variety of tasks evidenced in individuals with ASD may be related to enhanced local processing. Two theories have been proposed to account for this superior local processing. Visual illusions are one measure that has been used to test these theories, producing mixed results. The purpose of the present study was to address the discrepancy in results across studies by conducting a direct replication of the initial study investigating susceptibility to visual illusions in ASD. The current study also extended the scope of previous research by including eye-tracking data. 36 children completed a visual illusion task and an existing measure of central coherence. Results indicated no group differences in illusion susceptibility; however, individual differences in illusion susceptibility were related to increased local processing at the start of viewing the illusions. Implications of these findings, limitations, and future directions are discussed.

Perceptual abnormalities, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Visual illusions