Studies using hierarchical patterns to test global precedence and local-global interference in individuals with ASD have produced mixed results. The current study focused on stimulus variability and locational uncertainty, while using different attentional modes. Two groups of 44 children with and without ASD completed a divided attention task as well as a global and local selective attention task. The results revealed global-to-local and local-toglobal interference in ASD, to the same extent as in the TD group. Both groups struggled with the same type of stimuli (i.e., ignoring the global level information) and performed similar in all three tasks. Future studies on (visual) information processing in ASD should pursue the impact of stimulus noise and trial-by-trial uncertainty further.

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Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

van der Hallen, R., Vanmarcke, S. (Steven), Noens, I. (Ilse), & Wagemans, J. (2017). Hierarchical letters in ASD: High stimulus variability under different attentional modes. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47(6), 1854–1865. doi:10.1007/s10803-017-3108-2