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Recent findings suggest that children with autism may be impaired in the perception of biological motion from moving point-light displays. Some children with autism also have abnormally high motion coherence thresholds. In the current study we tested a group of children with autism and a group of typically developing children aged 5 to 12 years of age on(More)
It has been suggested that the locus of selective attention (early vs. late in processing) is dependent on the perceptual load of the task. When perceptual load is low, irrelevant distractors are processed (late selection), whereas when perceptual load is high, distractor interference disappears (early selection). Attentional abnormalities have long been(More)
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research portrays a mixed picture of attentional abilities with demonstrations of enhancements (e.g., superior visual search) and deficits (e.g., higher distractibility). Here we test a potential resolution derived from the Load Theory of Attention (e.g., Lavie, 2005). In Load Theory, distractor processing depends on the(More)
Recent findings suggest that children with autism may be impaired in the perception of biological motion from moving point-light displays. There have also been reports that some children with autism have abnormally high motion coherence thresholds. In the current study we tested a group of children with autism and a group of typically developing children(More)
OBJECTIVE Attention research in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has produced conflicting results. Some findings demonstrate greater distractibility while others suggest superior focused attention. Applying Lavie's load theory of attention to account for this discrepancy led us to hypothesize increased perceptual capacity in ASD. Preliminary(More)
In recent years there has been a growing interest in the role of attention in the processing of social stimuli in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Research has demonstrated that, for typical adults, faces have a special status in attention and are processed in an automatic and mandatory fashion even when participants attempt to ignore them.(More)
We examined whether the movement involved in a pointing gesture, depicted using point-light displays, is sufficient to cue attention in typically developing children (TD) and children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (aged 8-11 years). Using a Posner-type paradigm, a centrally located display indicated the location of a forthcoming target on 80% of(More)
Attention and awareness are known to be linked (e.g., see Lavie et al., 2014, for a review). However the extent to which this link changes over development is not fully understood. Most research concerning the development of attention has investigated the effects of attention on distraction, visual search and spatial orienting, typically using reaction time(More)
BACKGROUND Autistic individuals commonly show circumscribed or "special" interests: areas of obsessive interest in a specific category. The present study investigated what impact these interests have on attention, an aspect of autistic cognition often reported as altered. In neurotypical individuals, interest and expertise have been shown to result in an(More)