Picture of a black hole

Strathclyde Open Access research that creates ripples...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by Strathclyde physicists involved in observing gravitational waves and black hole mergers as part of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) - but also other internationally significant research from the Department of Physics. Discover why Strathclyde's physics research is making ripples...

Strathprints also exposes world leading research from the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

Discover more...

Abnormal global processing along the dorsal visual pathway in autism: A possible mechanism for weak visuospatial coherence?

Durkin, Kevin and Pellicano, E. and Gibson, L. and Maybery, M. and Badcock, D. (2005) Abnormal global processing along the dorsal visual pathway in autism: A possible mechanism for weak visuospatial coherence? Neuropsychologia, 43 (7). pp. 1044-1053. ISSN 0028-3932

Full text not available in this repository. (Request a copy from the Strathclyde author)

Abstract

Frith and Happæ#169; (Frith, U., and Happæ#169;, F. (1994). Autism: Beyond theory of mind. Cognition, 50, 115-132) argue that individuals with autism exhibit 'weak central coherence': an inability to integrate elements of information into coherent wholes. Some authors have speculated that a high-level impairment might be present in the dorsal visual pathway in autism, and furthermore, that this might account for weak central coherence, at least at the visuospatial level. We assessed the integrity of the dorsal visual pathway in children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and in typically developing children, using two visual tasks, one examining functioning at higher levels of the dorsal cortical stream (Global Dot Motion (GDM)), and the other assessing lower-level dorsal stream functioning (Flicker Contrast Sensitivity (FCS)). Central coherence was tested using the Children's Embedded Figures Test (CEFT). Relative to the typically developing children, the children with ASD had shorter CEFT latencies and higher GDM thresholds but equivalent FCS thresholds. Additionally, CEFT latencies were inversely related to GDM thresholds in the ASD group. These outcomes indicate that the elevated global motion thresholds in autism are the result of high-level impairments in dorsal cortical regions. Weak visuospatial coherence in autism may be in the form of abnormal cooperative mechanisms in extra-striate cortical areas, which might contribute to differential performance when processing stimuli as Gestalts, including both dynamic (i.e., global motion perception) and static (i.e., disembedding performance) stimuli.