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Title: Visual information processing by high functioning individuals with autistic spectrum condition
Author: Tooze, Alana
ISNI:       0000 0004 2731 419X
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2012
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People with Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) have sometimes been found to show a local-processing bias on certain visual tasks. This bias has been associated with superior task performance on tasks where it confers an advantage. However, this finding is far from universal; especially when the research participants with ASC have an average to above average level of general intellectual functioning. This thesis comprises a literature review of research examining the processing of visual information by people with ASC, and an empirical paper examining the performance of people with ASC on the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure. The literature review considers various models of ASC with the predictions they make for processing of complex visual stimuli. The evidence which supports or refutes these theories is described. Several methodologies have been used to explore visual processing in people with ASC and the information and understanding which each methodology has provided is discussed. Finally, the literature review considers what still remains unknown, and potential directions for future research. The empirical paper is a quantitative study using the Boston Qualitative Scoring System and eye tracking methodology to investigate the potential presence of a local-processing bias, evidenced by increased lower level cognitive processing during completion of the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure. A local-processing bias was not found. This study does not support the presence of this bias in high functioning individuals with ASC. The study findings are discussed in relation to the existing literature and the Underconnectivity Hypothesis of ASC.
Supervisor: Benson, Valerie Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology