Multisensory Integration of Low-level Information in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Measuring Susceptibility to the Flash-Beep Illusion

J Autism Dev Disord. 2017 Aug;47(8):2535-2543. doi: 10.1007/s10803-017-3172-7.


Previous studies have suggested audiovisual multisensory integration (MSI) may be atypical in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). However, much of the research having found an alteration in MSI in ASD involved socio-communicative stimuli. The goal of the current study was to investigate MSI abilities in ASD using lower-level stimuli that are not socio-communicative in nature by testing susceptibility to auditory-guided visual illusions. Adolescents and adults with ASD and typically-developing (TD) individuals were shown to have similar susceptibility to a fission illusion. However, the ASD group was significantly more susceptible to the fusion illusion. Results suggest that individuals with ASD demonstrate MSI on the flash-beep illusion task but that their integration of audiovisual sensory information may be less selective than for TD individuals.

Keywords: Auditory-visual integration; Autism spectrum disorder; Flash-beep illusion; Multisensory integration.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Auditory Perception*
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Illusions*
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Visual Perception*