Superior visual search and crowding abilities are not characteristic of all individuals on the autism spectrum

Ebony Lindor, Nicole Rinehart, Joanne Fielding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often excel on visual search and crowding tasks; however, inconsistent findings suggest that this ‘islet of ability’ may not be characteristic of the entire spectrum. We examined whether performance on these tasks changed as a function of motor proficiency in children with varying levels of ASD symptomology. Children with high ASD symptomology outperformed all others on complex visual search tasks, but only if their motor skills were rated at, or above, age expectations. For the visual crowding task, children with high ASD symptomology and superior motor skills exhibited enhanced target discrimination, whereas those with high ASD symptomology but poor motor skills experienced deficits. These findings may resolve some of the discrepancies in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3499-3512
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • Attention
  • Autism
  • Crowding
  • Enhanced perception
  • Motor skills
  • Visual search

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