Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 45, Issue 10, pp 3390–3395 | Cite as

Individuals with Autistic-Like Traits Show Reduced Lateralization on a Greyscales Task

  • Michael C. W. English
  • Murray T. Maybery
  • Troy A. W. Visser
Brief Report


Individuals with autism spectrum conditions attend less to the left side of centrally presented face stimuli compared to neurotypical individuals, suggesting a reduction in right hemisphere activation. We examined whether a similar bias exists for non-facial stimuli in a large sample of neurotypical adults rated above- or below-average on the autism spectrum quotient (AQ). Using the “greyscales” task, we found the typical leftward bias in the below-average group was significantly reduced in the above-average group. Moreover, a negative correlation between leftward bias and the social skills factor of the AQ suggested a link between atypical hemispheric activation and social difficulties in high-AQ trait individuals that extends to non-facial stimuli.


Autistic-like traits Left visual field (LVF) bias Brain laterality Spatial attention 



This research was supported by Australia Research Council Discovery Project grants to TAWV (DP120102313) and MTM (DP120104713). Funding was also provided to MCWE by The University of Western Australia.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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