Research insights on perception of autism
A collaboration involving Prof Steven Dakin in the School of Optometry & Vision Science has shed light on the way children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) see the world. In addition to difficulties with social interaction it is known that sufferers tend to focus on the fine detail of scenes. It has been assumed that this arises from an inability to combine information into the “bigger picture”.
The research, published on 6th May in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggests that children with ASD are actually able to combine more information than typically developing children, suggesting that difficulties with sensory processing arise from an inability to control combination. This may explain why sufferers experience “sensory overload” in noisy or cluttered environments and will assist in diagnosing and intervening in ASD.