Cognitive Differences in Pictorial Reasoning Between High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Syndrome

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Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (Impact Factor: 3.06). 04/2009; 39(7):1014-23. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-009-0712-9
Source: PubMed


We investigated linguistic and visuospatial processing during pictorial reasoning in high-functioning autism (HFA), Asperger's syndrome (ASP), and age and IQ-matched typically developing participants (CTRL), using three conditions designed to differentially engage linguistic mediation or visuospatial processing (visuospatial, V; semantic, S; visuospatial + semantic, V + S). The three groups did not differ in accuracy, but showed different response time profiles. ASP and CTRL participants were fastest on V + S, amenable to both linguistic and nonlinguistic mediation, whereas HFA participants were equally fast on V and V + S, where visuospatial strategies were available, and slowest on S. HFA participants appeared to favor visuospatial over linguistic mediation. The results support the use of linguistic versus visuospatial tasks for characterizing subtypes on the autism spectrum.

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Available from: Laurent Mottron, Dec 28, 2013
    • "It is relevant to take age into account when evaluating intelligence in ASD individuals. Other limitations of previous studies were (i) the use of older scales (WAIS-R or WAIS-III), (ii) the use of different scales for different individuals in the same group, such as WISC-R, WISC-III, WAIS-R, WAIS-III (Gras-Vincendon, Mottron, Salame, Bursztejn, & Danion, 2007), and (iii) the large sample age range (e.g. from 5 to 30 years old in Sahyoun et al., 2009 from 5 to 58 years old in Chiang et al., 2014). It should be noted that the recruitment was variable from a study to another: different diagnostic criteria usually based on international classifications (ICD-10, DSM-IV) were considered, as well as additional qualifications, like (Gillberg & Gillberg, 1989) criterion or modified criterion, in order to include AS individuals with motor clumsiness (Klin et al., 1995). "
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    • "The idea of high-functioning autism and Asperger's Disorder as part of the same ASD spectrum underlies the current conceptualisation of autistic disorder according to the planned DSM5 ( While Sahyoun et al. (2009) found a different pattern of visuo-spatial abilities in individuals with Asperger's Disorder and high-functioning autism, Ozonoff et al. (2000) described similar abilities in both groups. Sample size was small in our study, thus interpretation is limited. "
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