University of New Hampshire, Manchester
Mentor: Dr. John Sparrow, Associate Professor of Psychology
Autistic Individuals Performance of Change Blindness Task: An Evaluation of Attentional Process
The purpose of this study is to measure performance on change blindness tasks (tasks which require the detection of change from one instance to the next) among twenty students with autism. Attentional processes involved in change blindness tasks will be measured according to accuracy and response time. It is hypothesized that individuals with autism will perform better on tasks that require the use of peripheral vision and/or the detection of gradual change when compared to tasks that require the use of foveal vision and/or the detection of incremental change. Data will be summarized using a 2x2 within-subjects factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA). This method will allow for a measurement of attentional processes as they are influenced by gradual versus incremental changes, foveal versus peripheral changes (i.e., the two main effects) and combinations of these factors as well (i.e., the interaction effects). Anticipated findings are congruent with perceptual theories on autism and will support the position that change blindness is an appropriate paradigm for assessing attentional processes in autistic individuals.