May 2008
Volume 8, Issue 6
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2008
Perceptual organization in autism and asperger syndrome
Author Affiliations
  • Rolf Nelson
    Psychology, Wheaton College (MA)
Journal of Vision May 2008, Vol.8, 1016. doi:
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      Rolf Nelson; Perceptual organization in autism and asperger syndrome. Journal of Vision 2008;8(6):1016.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Some perceptual theories of autism have postulated that autistics (and others along the spectrum) may process visual information at an “earlier” level. For example, hierarchical stimuli may be processed at a more local level, and there may be less susceptibility to visual illusions of size and shape that rely on contextual information. The current experiments tested perceptual grouping in autistics and those with Asperger's Syndrome, setting up a 2AFC procedure where one choice corresponded to grouping at an “early” or more retinal level, and the other choice corresponded to grouping at a “later” level, after such processes as amodal completion and illusory contour formation. Results did not support a difference in processing styles between adolescents on the autistic spectrum and controls, suggesting that if there is a difference in perceptual organization, it is subtle.

Nelson, R. (2008). Perceptual organization in autism and asperger syndrome [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 8(6):1016, 1016a,, doi:10.1167/8.6.1016. [CrossRef]
 The Groden Center, Providence, RI.

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