domingo, 28 de setembro de 2014

Attention to detail may aid visual learning in autism

Adults with high-functioning autism excel  at learning visual patterns, according to research published 25 August in Neuropsychology. The study contrasts with a report earlier this year that children with the disorder struggle with visual learning.
A number of studies have found that people with autism have sharp vision — for example, they can zero in on shapes embedded within a larger image better than their peers can. However, one study earlier this year reported that children with the disorder are impaired specifically in visual statistical learning, in which children learn to recognize visual patterns. This may be why they have trouble mastering social knowledge, such as the facial expressions characteristic of different emotions.
“Statistical learning is a really, really fundamental process that allows us to make sense of the world,” says Matthew Roser, lecturer in psychology at Plymouth University in the U.K., who led the new study. “It’s one of those basic essential functions that allows us to pick up on patterns.” Understanding how people with autism perceive those patterns may help inform interventions for the disorder, Roser says. (...)

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