Children with autism spectrum disorder show reduced adaptation to number

Marco Turi, David C. Burr, Roberta Igliozzi, David Aagten-Murphy, Filippo Muratori, Elizabeth Pellicano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Autism is known to be associated with major perceptual atypicalities. We have recently proposed a general model to account for these atypicalities in Bayesian terms, suggesting that autistic individuals underuse predictive information or priors. We tested this idea by measuring adaptation to numerosity stimuli in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). After exposure to large numbers of items, stimuli with fewer items appear to be less numerous (and vice versa). We found that children with ASD adapted much less to numerosity than typically developing children, although their precision for numerosity discrimination was similar to that of the typical group. This result reinforces recent findings showing reduced adaptation to facial identity in ASD and goes on to show that reduced adaptation is not unique to faces (social stimuli with special significance in autism), but occurs more generally, for both parietal and temporal functions, probably reflecting inefficiencies in the adaptive interpretation of sensory signals. These results provide strong support for the Bayesian theories of autism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7868-7872
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume112
Issue number25
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 23 2015

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Autism
  • Bayesian
  • Number
  • Prediction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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