Atypical visual change processing in children with autism: An electrophysiological Study


  • This research was supported by grants from the “Fondation Orange” and the “Région Centre” and by the CHRU Bretonneau, Tours (PHRC). We thank all the subjects and their parents for their time and effort spent participating in this study. We also thank M. Taylor for her helpful comments.

Address correspondence to: Marie Gomot, INSERM U930, Centre de pédopsychiatrie, CHRU Bretonneau, 2 Bld Tonnellé, 37044 Tours Cedex 9, France. E-mail:


Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may display atypical behaviors in reaction to unattended changes that occur in all sensory modalities. Atypical automatic auditory change processing has been highlighted in ASD via the analysis of mismatch negativity (MMN). The present study investigated visual deviancy detection in children with ASD in order to determine whether unusual reactions to change operate in other sensory modalities. Twelve children with ASD were presented with a passive visual oddball paradigm using dynamic stimuli. Compared to controls, children with ASD showed an earlier visual mismatch response, suggesting a hypersensitivity to visual deviancy. This study is thus consistent with the hypothesis of the existence of “general” atypical change detection processing in children with ASD that might contribute to their intolerance of change.