'Welcome to the Tiger Spotting Game!' A psychophysical study of visual processing in Autism Spectrum Disorders
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Atypical visual perceptual processing in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) has been documented with reference to a number of tasks. Relative strengths and weaknesses have been uncovered, although the point at which strength becomes weakness is unclear. Using a psychophysical approach, the present study introduces a novel computer game, The Tiger Spotting Game, to assess a variety of visual processing tasks in 12 ASD and 12 typically developing age-matched controls. Tasks range from simple target detection to static size discrimination, dynamic change detection and dynamic size discrimination. The key finding is a marked deficit in dynamic discrimination in ASD children coupled with comparable static discrimination. This relative strength and weakness is discussed with reference to an executive dysfunction, specifically located at the level of visual attention.