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Bat Sheva Hadad; Color perception in ASD. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):626. doi: 10.1167/16.12.626.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Color perception in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) has been shown to be weaker compared to typically developed individuals (TD) in some studies, while enhanced in others. We compared the perception of color in individuals with ASD and in TD looking for both quantitative and qualitative differences. Individual thresholds were first measured using adaptive procedures separately for hue, saturation, and brightness, revealing no differences in thresholds between the two groups, in any of the three dimensions of color. The classical Garner tasks were employed to examine whether the typical integral perception of color is also shown in ASD. Performance in the speeded classification task showed interference from an irrelevant dimension (e.g., hue) when perceptually classifying a different, relevant dimension (e.g., brightness), suggesting integral perception of hue, brightness, and saturation in ASD. Performance in the restricted classification task showed that both classification rates based on overall similarity (integral) of stimuli differing on two color dimensions (e.g., hue and saturation), and classification rates based on dimensional identity (separable) of stimuli differing on the separable dimensions (e.g., size and brightness), were relatively lower in ASD. Furthermore, when asked explicitly to classify color based on just one separate dimension (e.g., brightness), ASD showed enhanced performance compared to TD. Altogether the results suggest an intact sensitivity to color in ASD and a typical integral processing of the different dimensions. However, contrary to TD, individuals with ASD show enhanced separable perception of the different dimensions of color along with the availability of their integral representation.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016
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