Exploring Perceptual Skills in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: From Target Detection to Dynamic Perceptual Discrimination

Louisa Miller, Maggie McGonigle-Chalmers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Perceptual processing in autism is associated with both ‘strengths’ and ‘weaknesses’ but within a literature that varies widely in terms of the assessments used. We report data from 12 children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and 12 age and IQ matched neurotypical controls tested on a set of tasks using the same stimuli throughout but systematically changing in difficulty. These tasks ranged through simple detection of stimulus onset to pairwise size discrimination across two approaching targets. Children with ASD were slower than controls even in simple detection tasks, but this did not explain further group differences found in the size discrimination of approaching targets. The results are discussed in terms of impairments in speed of responding in ASD under certain conditions of visuomotor coupling, stimulus presentation and increased information processing demands.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1144-1157
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number5
Early online date19 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


  • ASD
  • Attention switching
  • Perception
  • Target discrimination

Cite this