Institutional Research Information Service
UCL Logo
Please report any queries concerning the funding data grouped in the sections named "Externally Awarded" or "Internally Disbursed" (shown on the profile page) to your Research Finance Administrator. Your can find your Research Finance Administrator at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/finance/research/rs-contacts.php by entering your department
Please report any queries concerning the student data shown on the profile page to:

Email: portico-services@ucl.ac.uk

Help Desk: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ras/portico/helpdesk
Publication Detail
Lightening the load: perceptual load impairs visual detection in typical adults but not in autism.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Remington AM, Swettenham JG, Lavie N
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    544, 551
  • Journal:
    J Abnorm Psychol
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Status:
  • Country:
    United States
  • PII:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Adult, Analysis of Variance, Attention, Autistic Disorder, Female, Humans, Male, Perceptual Masking, Photic Stimulation, Visual Perception
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research portrays a mixed picture of attentional abilities with demonstrations of enhancements (e.g., superior visual search) and deficits (e.g., higher distractibility). Here we test a potential resolution derived from the Load Theory of Attention (e.g., Lavie, 2005). In Load Theory, distractor processing depends on the perceptual load of the task and as such can only be eliminated under high load that engages full capacity. We hypothesize that ASD involves enhanced perceptual capacity, leading to the superior performance and increased distractor processing previously reported. Using a signal-detection paradigm, we test this directly and demonstrate that, under higher levels of load, perceptual sensitivity was reduced in typical adults but not in adults with ASD. These findings confirm our hypothesis and offer a promising solution to the previous discrepancies by suggesting that increased distractor processing in ASD results not from a filtering deficit but from enhanced perceptual capacity.
Publication data is maintained in RPS. Visit https://rps.ucl.ac.uk
 More search options
UCL Researchers
Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
IOE - Psychology & Human Development
Language & Cognition
University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT Tel:+44 (0)20 7679 2000

© UCL 1999–2011

Search by