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Autistic Traits and Sensitivity to Interference With Flavour Identification



We assessed whether autistic traits are related to the ability to identify flavour. In general, the colour of the food or drink facilitates identification of its flavour. In the current study, the colour of drinks either provided congruent, incongruent or ambiguous (colourless) information about the flavour. Participants identified the flavours of 12 drinks from a list and completed a measure of autistic traits, the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ). In line with previous studies, flavour identification was impaired in incongruent conditions, while identification in congruent conditions was not improved when compared with that in ambiguous conditions. AQ scores were related to flavour identification in incongruent conditions, in that as the AQ score increased, accuracy of flavour identification decreased. There were no relationships found in the congruent or ambiguous conditions. This finding is in line with the idea that conflicting sensory information may be more disruptive for individuals on the autism spectrum. Autism Res 2013, ●●: ●●–●●. © 2013 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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