Demonstrations of decreased sensitivity to complex motion information not enough to propose an autism-specific neural etiology

J Autism Dev Disord. 2006 Jan;36(1):55-64. doi: 10.1007/s10803-005-0042-5.


Interest regarding neural information processing in autism is growing because atypical perceptual abilities are a characteristic feature of persons with autism. Central to our review is how characteristic perceptual abilities, referred to as perceptual signatures, can be used to suggest a neural etiology that is specific to autism. We review evidence from studies assessing both motion and form perception and how the resulting perceptual signatures are interpreted within the context of two main hypotheses regarding information processing in autism: the pathway- and complexity-specific hypotheses. We present evidence suggesting that an autism-specific neural etiology based on perceptual abilities can only be made when particular experimental paradigms are used, and that such an etiology is most congruent with the complexity-specific hypothesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / complications*
  • Autistic Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Inhibition, Psychological*
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Nerve Net / physiopathology*
  • Perceptual Disorders / etiology*
  • Perceptual Disorders / physiopathology*