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Ella Bosch, Matthias Fritsche, Christian Utzerath, Jan K. Buitelaar, Floris P. de Lange; Adaptation and serial choice bias for low-level visual features are unaltered in autistic adolescents. Journal of Vision 2022;22(6):1. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.22.6.1.
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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or autism, is characterized by social and non-social symptoms, including sensory hyper- and hyposensitivities. A suggestion has been put forward that some of these symptoms could be explained by differences in how sensory information is integrated with its context, including a lower tendency to leverage the past in the processing of new perceptual input. At least two history-dependent effects of opposite directions have been described in the visual perception literature: a repulsive adaptation effect, where perception of a stimulus is biased away from an adaptor stimulus, and an attractive serial choice bias, where perceptual choices are biased toward the previous choice. In this study, we investigated whether autistic participants differed in either bias from typically developing controls (TDs). Sixty-four adolescent participants (31 with ASD, 33 TDs) were asked to categorize oriented line stimuli in two tasks that were designed so that we would induce either adaptation or serial choice bias. Although our tasks successfully induced both biases, in comparing the two groups we found no differences in the magnitude of adaptation nor in the modulation of perceptual choices by the previous choice. In conclusion, we find no evidence of a decreased integration of the past in visual perception of low-level stimulus features in autistic adolescents.
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