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Atypical Time Course of Object Recognition in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Abstract : In neurotypical observers, it is widely believed that the visual system samples the world in a coarse-to-fine fashion. Past studies on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have identified atypical responses to fine visual information but did not investigate the time course of the sampling of information at different levels of granularity (i.e. Spatial Frequencies, SF). Here, we examined this question during an object recognition task in ASD and neurotypical observers using a novel experimental paradigm. Our results confirm and characterize with unprecedented precision a coarse-to-fine sampling of SF information in neurotypical observers. In ASD observers, we discovered a different pattern of SF sampling across time: in the first 80 ms, high SFs lead ASD observers to a higher accuracy than neurotypical observers, and these SFs are sampled differently across time in the two subject groups. Our results might be related to the absence of a mandatory precedence of global information, and to top-down processing abnormalities in ASD.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 4:24:15 PM
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Laurent Caplette, Bruno Wicker, Frédéric Gosselin. Atypical Time Course of Object Recognition in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2016, 6, ⟨10.1038/srep35494⟩. ⟨hal-01394709⟩

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