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Contrasting the Effects of Task Difficulty and Perceptual Load on Auditory Detection Sensitivity in Individuals with Autism

Tillmann, J; Swettenham, J; (2018) Contrasting the Effects of Task Difficulty and Perceptual Load on Auditory Detection Sensitivity in Individuals with Autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 10.1007/s10803-018-3766-8. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

To test a central assumption of the increased perceptual capacity account in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the effects of perceptual load and target-stimulus degradation on auditory detection sensitivity were contrasted. Fourteen adolescents with ASD and 16 neurotypical controls performed a visual letter search task under three conditions: low perceptual load, high perceptual load and low perceptual load with a degraded target while simultaneously detecting an auditory tone in noise. For both participants with ASD and neurotypical controls, increasing perceptual load and target degradation increased task difficulty as indexed by reaction times and accuracy. However, only increasing perceptual load reduced subsequent auditory detection sensitivity. The study confirms that perceptual load, and not task difficulty, modulates selective attention in ASD.

Type: Article
Title: Contrasting the Effects of Task Difficulty and Perceptual Load on Auditory Detection Sensitivity in Individuals with Autism
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10803-018-3766-8
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-018-3766-8
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, Auditory detection sensitivity, Selective attention, Perceptual load, Task difficulty
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Language and Cognition
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10057473
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