High Visual Perception Ability in Autistic People Explained

  • On 18 April 2011

MONTREAL, April 2011 — People with autism have more brain activity in the areas associated with visual detection and identification than others, according to researchers at the University of Montreal.

Regions showing more task-related activity in autistics than non-autistics for the three processing domains: “faces” in red, “objects” in green and “words” in blue. (Images: Human Brain Mapping, Wiley-Blackwell Inc.)

It has been noticed before that autistic people are highly able to process visual information, and this may be why.

The researchers analyzed 26 brain imaging studies containing 15 years of data on how an autistic brain works when processing faces, objects and written words.

They mapped the areas of higher activity and compared the maps with those of non-autistics, finding that the autistic people had more activity in brain areas involved in perceiving and recognizing patterns and objects.

The research findings appeared in Human Brain Mapping on April 4.