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Article
Practice Makes Improvement: How Adults with Autism Out-Perform Others in a Naturalistic Visual Search Task
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Cleotilde Gonzalez, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Jolie M. Martin, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
  • Nancy J. Minshew, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Marlene Behrmann, Carnegie Mellon University
Disciplines
Date of Original Version
2-1-2013
Type
Article
Abstract or Description
People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often exhibit superior performance in visual search compared to others. However, most studies demonstrating this advantage have employed simple, uncluttered images with fully visible targets. We compare the performance of high-functioning adults with ASD and matched controls on a naturalistic luggage screening task. Although the two groups were equally accurate in detecting targets, the ASD adults improve in their correct elimination of target-absent bags faster than controls. This feature of their behavior is extremely important for many real-world monitoring tasks that require sustained attention for long time periods. Further analyses suggest that this improvement is attributable neither to the motor speed nor to the level of intelligence of the adults with ASD. These findings may have possible implications for employment opportunities of adult individuals with ASD.
DOI
10.1007/s10803-013-1772-4
Citation Information
Cleotilde Gonzalez, Jolie M. Martin, Nancy J. Minshew and Marlene Behrmann. "Practice Makes Improvement: How Adults with Autism Out-Perform Others in a Naturalistic Visual Search Task" Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (2013)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/marlene_behrmann/64/