Children with Autism Detect Targets at Very Rapid Presentation Rates with Similar Accuracy as Adults

Carl Erick Hagmann, Bradley Wyble, Nicole Shea, Megan LeBlanc, Wendy R. Kates, Natalie Russo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Enhanced perception may allow for visual search superiority by individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), but does it occur over time? We tested high-functioning children with ASD, typically developing (TD) children, and TD adults in two tasks at three presentation rates (50, 83.3, and 116.7 ms/item) using rapid serial visual presentation. In the Color task, participants detected a purple target letter amongst black letter distractors. In the Category task, participants detected a letter amongst number distractors. Slower rates resulted in higher accuracy. Children with ASD were more accurate than TD children and similar to adults at the fastest rate when detecting color-marked targets, indicating atypical neurodevelopment in ASD may cause generalized perceptual enhancement relative to typically developing peers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 22 2016



  • Attention
  • Autism
  • Cognition
  • Development
  • Perception
  • RSVP
  • Visual search

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this