Multiple object tracking in autism spectrum disorders

Kami Koldewyn, Sarah Weigelt, Nancy Kanwisher, Yuhong Jiang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    30 Scopus citations


    Difficulties in visual attention are often implicated in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) but it remains unclear which aspects of attention are affected. Here, we used a multiple object tracking (MOT) task to quantitatively characterize dynamic attentional function in children with ASD aged 5-12. While the ASD group performed significantly worse overall, the group difference did not increase with increased object speed. This finding suggests that decreased MOT performance is not due to deficits in dynamic attention but instead to a diminished capacity to select and maintain attention on multiple targets. Further, MOT performance improved from 5 to 10 years in both typical and ASD groups with similar developmental trajectories. These results argue against a specific deficit in dynamic attention in ASD.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1394-1405
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Jun 2013


    • Autism spectrum disorder
    • Cognitive development
    • Dynamic attention
    • Multiple object tracking
    • Spatial attention

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