Are People with Autism and Asperger Syndrome Faster Than Normal on the Embedded Figures Test?
Article first published online: 7 DEC 2006
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Volume 38, Issue 5, pages 527–534, July 1997
How to Cite
Jolliffe, T. and Baron-Cohen, S. (1997), Are People with Autism and Asperger Syndrome Faster Than Normal on the Embedded Figures Test?. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 38: 527–534. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.1997.tb01539.x
- Issue published online: 7 DEC 2006
- Article first published online: 7 DEC 2006
- Accepted manuscript received 24 September 1996
- Asperger syndrome;
- Embedded Figures Test;
- central coherence
Previous work suggests children with autism show superior performance (in relation to their general mental age) on the Embedded Figures Test (EFT). Frith interprets this as showing that they have “weak central coherence”. In Experiment 1, using an adult level version of this task, we aimed to replicate and extend this finding, first, by collecting response time (RT) data; second, by testing adults with autism of normal intelligence; and third, by testing a group of adults with Asperger syndrome, in order to test for differences between autism and Asperger syndrome. Both clinical groups were significantly faster on the EFT. In Experiment 2, we investigated if this difference was due to a preference for local over global processing, using a novel drawing task based on the classical Rey Figure. The clinical groups did not differ significantly on this test, but there was a trend towards such a difference. Alternative explanations for the EFT superiority in autism and Asperger syndrome are considered.