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
Seeing the unseen: autism involves reduced susceptibility to inattentional blindness.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Swettenham J, Remington A, Murphy P, Feuerstein M, Grim K, Lavie N
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    563, 570
  • Journal:
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Status:
  • Country:
    United States
  • PII:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Age Factors, Analysis of Variance, Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity, Awareness, Blindness, Child, Child Development Disorders, Pervasive, Discrimination, Psychological, Disease Susceptibility, Female, Humans, Male, Neuropsychological Tests, Photic Stimulation, Reaction Time, Signal Detection, Psychological
OBJECTIVE: Attention research in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has produced conflicting results. Some findings demonstrate greater distractibility while others suggest superior focused attention. Applying Lavie's load theory of attention to account for this discrepancy led us to hypothesize increased perceptual capacity in ASD. Preliminary support for our hypothesis has so far been found for adults with ASD with reaction time (RT) and signal detection sensitivity measures. Here we test the novel prediction we derived from this hypothesis that children with ASD should have lower rates of inattentional blindness than controls. METHOD: Twenty-four children with ASD (mean age = 10 years 10 months) and 39 typically developing children (age and IQ matched) took part in the study. We assessed the effects of perceptual load on the rates of inattentional blindness in each group. Participants performing a line discrimination task in either a high load or low load condition were presented with an unexpected extra stimulus on a critical trial. Performance on the line judgment task and rates of detection and stimulus identification were recorded. RESULTS: Overall rates of detection and identification were higher in the ASD group than in the controls. Moreover, whereas both detection and identification rates were significantly lower in the high (compared with low) load conditions for the controls, these were unaffected by load in the ASD group. CONCLUSION: Reduced inattentional blindness rates under load in ASD suggests higher perceptual capacity is a core feature, present from childhood and leading to superior performance in various measures of perception and attention.
Publication data is maintained in RPS. Visit https://rps.ucl.ac.uk
 More search options
UCL Researchers
Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
Language & Cognition
University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT Tel:+44 (0)20 7679 2000

© UCL 1999–2011

Search by