The use of a tablet-based app for investigating the influence of autistic and ADHD traits on performance in a complex drawing task

Savickaite, S. and Morrison, C. and Lux, E. and Delafield-Butt, J. and Simmons, D. R. (2022) The use of a tablet-based app for investigating the influence of autistic and ADHD traits on performance in a complex drawing task. Behavior Research Methods. ISSN 1554-3528 (https://doi.org/10.3758/s13428-021-01746-8)

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Abstract

This paper describes a smart tablet-based drawing app to digitally record participants' engagement with the Rey-Osterrieth complex figure (ROCF) task, a well-characterised perceptual memory task that assesses local and global memory. Digitisation of the tasks allows for improved ecological validity, especially in children attracted to tablet devices. Further, digital translation of the tasks affords new measures, including accuracy and computation of the fine motor control kinematics employed to carry out the drawing Here, we report a feasibility study to test the relationship between two neurodevelopmental conditions: autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The smart tablet app was employed with 39 adult participants (18-35) characterised for autistic and ADHD traits, and scored using the ROCF perceptual and organisational scoring systems. Trait scores and conditions were predictor variables in linear regression models. Positive correlations were found between the attention-to-detail, attention-switching and communication subscales of the autistic trait questionnaire and organisational scores on the ROCF task. These findings suggest that autistic traits might be linked to differential performance on the ROCF task. Novelty and future applications of the app are discussed.

ORCID iDs

Savickaite, S., Morrison, C., Lux, E. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8696-6716, Delafield-Butt, J. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8881-8821 and Simmons, D. R.;