Pomè, A., Caponi, C., & Burr, D. C.

Grouping-Induced Numerosity Biases Vary with Autistic-Like Personality Traits

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-021-05029-1 Download

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder are thought to have a more local than global perceptual style. We used a novel paradigm to investigate how grouping-induced response biases in numerosity judgments depend on autistic-like personality traits in neurotypical adults. Participants judged the numerosity of clouds of dot-pairs connected by thin lines, known to cause underestimation of numerosity. The underestimation bias correlated strongly with autism-spectrum quotient (r = 0.72, Bayes factor > 100), being weaker for participants with high autistic traits. As connecting dots probably activates global grouping mechanisms, causing dot-pairs to be processed as an integrated whole rather than as individual dots, the results suggest that these grouping mechanisms may be weaker in individuals self-reporting high levels of autistic-like traits.