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Slow motor responses to visual stimuli of low salience in autism

Todd, J., Mills, C., Wilson, A.D., Plumb, M. and Mon-Williams, M. (2009) Slow motor responses to visual stimuli of low salience in autism. Journal of Motor Behavior, 41 (5). pp. 419-426. ISSN 1940-1027

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The authors studied 2 tasks that placed differing demands on detecting relevant visual information and generating appropriate gaze shifts in adults and children with and without autism. In Experiment 1, participants fixated a cross and needed to make large gaze shifts, but researchers provided explicit instructions about shifting. Children with autism were indistinguishable from comparison groups in this top-down task. In Experiment 2 (bottom-up), a fixation cross remained or was removed prior to the presentation of a peripheral target of low visual salience. In this gap-effect experiment, children with autism showed lengthened reaction times overall but no specific deficit in overlap trials. The results show evidence of a general deficit in manual responses to visual stimuli of low salience and no evidence of a deficit in top-down attention shifting. Older children with autism appeared able to generate appropriate motor responses, but stimulus-driven visual attention seemed impaired.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > School of Psychology (Leeds) > Cognitive Psychology (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Biological Sciences (Leeds) > Institute of Membrane and Systems Biology (Leeds) > Cardiovascular and Sports Sciences Group (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2009 15:09
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2015 17:30
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3200/35-08-042
Status: Published
Publisher: Heldref publications
Identification Number: 10.3200/35-08-042
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9008

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