Why Do Autistic Individuals Show Superior Performance on the Block Design Task?
Version of Record online: 7 DEC 2006
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Volume 34, Issue 8, pages 1351–1364, November 1993
How to Cite
Shah, A. and Frith, U. (1993), Why Do Autistic Individuals Show Superior Performance on the Block Design Task?. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 34: 1351–1364. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.1993.tb02095.x
- Issue online: 7 DEC 2006
- Version of Record online: 7 DEC 2006
- Accepted manuscript received 30 April 1993
- block design;
- islets of ability
Abstract— Systematic variations of the block design task were given to 20 autistic, 33 normal and 12 mildly retarded subjects Designs were contrasted which were either “whole” or segmented, rotated or un rotated, and which did or did not contain obliques. Only segmentation, but neither of the spatial orientation factors, revealed a significant group difference. Autistic subjects, regardless of age and ability, performed better than controls when presented with un segmented designs. This result suggests that they need less of the normally required effort to segment a gestalt, and thus supports the hypothesis of weak central coherence as a characteristic of information processing in autism.