Reduced face aftereffects in autism are not due to poor attention

Ewing, Louise ORCID:, Leach, Katie, Pellicano, Elizabeth, Jeffery, Linda and Rhodes, Gillian (2013) Reduced face aftereffects in autism are not due to poor attention. PLoS One, 8 (11). ISSN 1932-6203

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This study aimed to determine why face identity aftereffects are diminished in children with autism, relative to typical children. To address the possibility that reduced face aftereffects might reflect reduced attention to adapting stimuli, we investigated the consequence of controlling attention to adapting faces during a face identity aftereffect task in children with autism and typical children. We also included a size-change between adaptation and test stimuli to determine whether the reduced aftereffects reflect atypical adaptation to low- or higher-level stimulus properties. Results indicated that when attention was controlled and directed towards adapting stimuli, face identity aftereffects in children with autism were significantly reduced relative to typical children. This finding challenges the notion that atypicalities in the quality and/or quantity of children's attention during adaptation might account for group differences previously observed in this paradigm. Additionally, evidence of diminished face identity aftereffects despite a stimulus size change supports an adaptive processing atypicality in autism that extends beyond low-level, retinotopically coded stimulus properties. These findings support the notion that diminished face aftereffects in autism reflect atypicalities in adaptive norm-based coding, which could also contribute to face processing difficulties in this group.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: adaptation, physiological,adolescent,asperger syndrome,attention,autistic disorder,child,face,figural aftereffect,humans,male,photic stimulation,retina
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Developmental Science
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2016 15:00
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 00:52
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0081353

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