Autism Journal Club

The Relationship Between Autistic Traits the Degree of Synaesthesia and LocalGlobal Visual Perception

Paper by Burghoorn, Dingemanse, van Lier and van Leeuwen (2019) will be discussed. Abstract: Synaesthesia is highly prevalent in autism spectrum disorder. We assessed the relation between the degree of autistic traits (Autism Spectrum Quotient, AQ) and the degree of synaesthesia in a neurotypical population, and hypothesized both are related to a local bias in visual perception. A positive correlation between total AQ scores and the degree of synaesthesia was found, extending previous studies in clinical populations. Consistent with our hypothesis, AQ-attention to detail scores were related to increased performance on an Embedded Figures Task and reduced susceptibility to visual illusions. We found no relation between autistic traits and performance on a motion coherence task, and no relation between synaesthesia and local visual perception. Possibly, this relation is reserved for supra-threshold synaesthetes.