Global visual processing and self-rated autistic-like traits

Emma J. Grinter, Murray T. Maybery, Pia L. Van Beek, Elizabeth Pellicano, Johanna C. Badcock, David R. Badcock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


The current research investigated, firstly, whether individuals with high levels of mild autistic-like traits display a similar profile of embedded figures test (EFT) and global motion performance to that seen in autism. Secondly, whether differences in EFT performance are related to enhanced local processing or reduced global processing in the ventral visual stream was also examined. Results indicated that people who scored high on the Autism-spectrum Quotient (AQ) were faster to identify embedded figures, and had poorer global motion and global form thresholds than low AQ scorers. However, the two groups did not differ on a task assessing lower-level input to the ventral stream. Overall the results indicate that individuals with high levels of autistic-like traits have difficulties with global integration in the visual pathways, which may at least partly explain their superior EFT performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1278-1290
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • autism
  • autistic-like traits
  • dorsal pathway
  • ventral pathway
  • visual perception
  • weak central coherence


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