This study aimed to investigate whether certain symptoms of autism were associated with enhanced performance on a conjunctive visual search task. Thirty individuals with autism completed the AQ and a conjunctive-search task. Results indicated that autism symptoms were differentially related to performance outcome measures on the conjunctive-search task. Attention to detail was found to be significantly related to the slope in the target-present condition, suggesting that better attention to detail was related to less distraction with increasing set size. Parent ratings of social skills were found to be significantly related to performance measured by the intercept of the target-absent condition, suggesting that poorer social skills were related to faster performance. The results have implications for understanding the relations between the two core symptoms of social/communication deficits and restricted/repetitive behaviours and interests (DSM-V 2013) in the revised diagnosis of autism.
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Thesis advisor: Iarocci, Grace
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