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ERIC Number: EJ906879
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0028-3932
Visual Search Performance in the Autism Spectrum II: The Radial Frequency Search Task with Additional Segmentation Cues
Almeida, Renita A.; Dickinson, J. Edwin; Maybery, Murray T.; Badcock, Johanna C.; Badcock, David R.
Neuropsychologia, v48 n14 p4117-4124 Dec 2010
The Embedded Figures Test (EFT) requires detecting a shape within a complex background and individuals with autism or high Autism-spectrum Quotient (AQ) scores are faster and more accurate on this task than controls. This research aimed to uncover the visual processes producing this difference. Previously we developed a search task using radial frequency (RF) patterns with controllable amounts of target/distracter overlap on which high AQ participants showed more efficient search than low AQ observers. The current study extended the design of this search task by adding two lines which traverse the display on random paths sometimes intersecting target/distracters, other times passing between them. As with the EFT, these lines segment and group the display in ways that are task irrelevant. We tested two new groups of observers and found that while RF search was slowed by the addition of segmenting lines for both groups, the high AQ group retained a consistent search advantage (reflected in a shallower gradient for reaction time as a function of set size) over the low AQ group. Further, the high AQ group were significantly faster and more accurate on the EFT compared to the low AQ group. That is, the results from the present RF search task demonstrate that segmentation and grouping created by intersecting lines does not further differentiate the groups and is therefore unlikely to be a critical factor underlying the EFT performance difference. However, once again, we found that superior EFT performance was associated with shallower gradients on the RF search task. (Contains 3 tables and 6 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Embedded Figures Test