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Benjamin Stettler, Lynnette Leone, Mark McCourt; Visuospatial Attention and Autism Spectrum Quotient: A Cued Line Bisection Study. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):480. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/16.12.480.
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Introduction. Pseudoneglect (PN) refers to a tonic leftward attentional bias in neurotypical individuals, revealed by leftward misbisection of horizontal lines. PN is theorized to reflect the specialization of the right hemisphere (RH) for the deployment of spatial attention. Autism Spectrum Disorder has been variously associated with abnormal RH function such that autistic traits have been linked with increased RH lateralization (Floris et al., 2015), an unusually narrow focus of visuospatial attention (Robertson et al., 2013), delayed attentional refocusing (Ronconi et al., 2013), and reduced leftward bias in the grayscales task (English et al., 2015). We measured neurotypical performance on a cued line bisection task as a function of Autism Spectrum-Quotient (ASQ). Method. Participants (N=123, 75 female) completed the adult ASQ questionnaire (range = 2-40). PN is known to be modulated by transient visual cues delivered to the left (LC) and right (RC) line ends where left cues increase, and right cues lessen, leftward bisection error (McCourt et al., 2005). Cue duration was 60 ms and line duration was 150 ms; cue-line onset asynchrony was 120 ms. Results. There was a significant leftward bisection error in the uncued (UC) condition [t(122) = -9.17, p< .001], and a significant modulation of bisection error relative to the uncued (UC) condition by both left (LC) and right (RC) cues [LC vs. UC vs. RC: F(1.6, 197.8) = 100.03 (Greenhouse-Geisser correction), p< .001; UC vs. RC: [t(122) = -8.14, p< .001]; UC vs. LC: [t(122) = 7.97; p< .001]; LC vs. RC [t(122) = 11.77; p< .001]. However, there was no significant association between the magnitude of PN or the effect of cueing and ASQ scores. Conclusions. We find no significant differences in measures of either tonic or phasic visuospatial attention as a function of ASQ score. Power analysis revealed a 0.84 probability of finding an effect (f2) ≥ 0.10.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016
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