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. 2013 Jun;49(6):1704-10.
doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2012.06.001. Epub 2012 Jun 20.

Reduced Multisensory Facilitation in Persons With Autism

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Reduced Multisensory Facilitation in Persons With Autism

Olivier Collignon et al. Cortex. .

Abstract

Although the literature concerning auditory and visual perceptual capabilities in the autism spectrum is growing, our understanding of multisensory integration (MSI) is rather limited. In the present study, we assessed MSI in autism by measuring whether participants benefited from an auditory cue presented in synchrony with the color change of a target during a complex visual search task. The synchronous auditory pip typically increases search efficacy (pip and pop effect), indicative of the beneficial use of sensory input from both modalities. We found that for conditions without auditory information, autistic participants were better at visual search compared to neurotypical participants. Importantly, search efficiency was increased by the presence of auditory pip for neurotypical participants only. The simultaneous occurrence of superior unimodal performance with altered audio-visual integration in autism suggests autonomous sensory processing in this population.

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