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Impaired identification of impoverished animate but not inanimate objects in adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder

Burnett, Hollie G.; Panis, Sven; Wagemans, Johan; Jellema, Tjeerd

Authors

Hollie G. Burnett

Sven Panis

Johan Wagemans



Abstract

The ability to identify animate and inanimate objects from impoverished images was investigated in adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFA) and in matched typically developed (TD) adults, using a newly developed task. Consecutive frames were presented containing Gabor elements that slightly changed orientation from one frame to the next. For a subset of elements, the changes were such that these elements gradually formed the outline of an object. Elements enclosed within the object's outline gradually adopted one and the same orientation, outside elements adopted random orientations. The subjective experience was that of an object appearing out of a fog. The HFA group required significantly more frames to identify the impoverished objects than the TD group. Crucially, this difference depended on the nature of the objects: the HFA group required significantly more frames to identify animate objects, but with respect to the identification of inanimate objects the groups did not differ. The groups also did not differ with respect to the number and type of incorrect guesses they made. The results suggest a specific impairment in individuals with HFA in identifying animate objects. A number of possible explanations are discussed.

Citation

Burnett, H. G., Panis, S., Wagemans, J., & Jellema, T. (2015). Impaired identification of impoverished animate but not inanimate objects in adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. Autism Research, 8(1), 52-60. https://doi.org/10.1002/aur.1412

Acceptance Date Aug 11, 2014
Online Publication Date Sep 25, 2014
Publication Date Feb 1, 2015
Deposit Date Feb 26, 2016
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal Autism research
Print ISSN 1939-3792
Electronic ISSN 1939-3806
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 1
Pages 52-60
DOI https://doi.org/10.1002/aur.1412
Keywords Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Concept forming, Gabor, Impoverished objects, Animate, Inanimate
Public URL https://hull-repository.worktribe.com/output/471709
Publisher URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/aur.1412/abstract
Copyright Statement ©2016 University of Hull
Additional Information This is the authors accepted manuscript of an article published in Autism research, 2014, v.8 issue 1.

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