Color afterimages in autistic adults

John Maule*, Kirstie Stanworth, Elizabeth Pellicano, Anna Franklin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


It has been suggested that attenuated adaptation to visual stimuli in autism is the result of atypical perceptual priors (e.g., Pellicano and Burr in Trends Cogn Sci 16(10):504–510, 2012. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2012.08.009). This study investigated adaptation to color in autistic adults, measuring both strength of afterimage and the influence of top-down knowledge. We found no difference in color afterimage strength between autistic and typical adults. Effects of top-down knowledge on afterimage intensity shown by Lupyan (Acta Psychol 161:117–130, 2015. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2015.08.006) were not replicated for either group. This study finds intact color adaptation in autistic adults. This is in contrast to findings of attenuated adaptation to faces and numerosity in autistic children. Future research should investigate the possibility of developmental differences in adaptation and further examine top-down effects on adaptation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1409-1421
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • adaptation
  • afterimages
  • autism
  • color
  • top-down knowledge


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