Is there a limit to the superiority of individuals with ASD in visual search?
Hessels, R. S., Hooge, I., Snijders, T. M., & Kemner, C.
Is there a limit to the superiority of individuals with ASD in visual search? Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44
, 443-451. doi:10.1007/s10803-013-1886-8.
Superiority in visual search for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a well-reported finding. We administered two visual search tasks to individuals with ASD and matched controls. One showed no difference between the groups, and one did show the expected superior performance for individuals with ASD. These results offer an explanation, formulated in terms of load theory. We suggest that there is a limit to the superiority in visual search for individuals with ASD, related to the perceptual load of the stimuli. When perceptual load becomes so high that no additional task-(ir)relevant information can be processed, performance will be based on single stimulus identification, in which no differences between individuals with ASD and controls have been demonstrated