Shifting attention between modalities: revisiting the modality-shift effect in autism

Poole, Daniel, Miles, Eleanor, Gowen, Emma and Poliakoff, Ellen (2021) Shifting attention between modalities: revisiting the modality-shift effect in autism. Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, 83 (6). pp. 2498-2509. ISSN 1943-3921

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Abstract

Selective attention to a sensory modality has been observed experimentally in studies of the modality-shift effect – a relative performance benefit for targets preceded by a target in the same modality, compared to a different modality. Differences in selective attention are commonly observed in autism and we investigated whether exogenous (automatic) shift costs between modalities are increased. Autistic adults and neurotypical controls made speeded discrimination responses to simple visual, tactile and auditory targets. Shift costs were observed for each target modality in participant response times and were largest for auditory targets, reflective of fast responses on auditory repeat trials. Critically, shift costs were similar between the groups. However, integrating speed and accuracy data using drift-diffusion modelling revealed that shift costs in drift rates (reflecting the quality of information extracted from the stimulus) were reduced for autistic participants compared with neurotypicals. It may be that, unlike neurotypicals, there is little difference between attention within and between sensory modalities for autistic people. This finding also highlights the benefit of combining reaction time and accuracy data using decision models to better characterise selective attention in autism.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Autism drift, Diffusion model, Multisensory processing, Selective Attention, Acoustic Stimulation, Adult, Auditory Perception, Autistic Disorder, Humans, Photic Stimulation, Reaction Time, Touch, Visual Perception
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2021 11:05
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2021 11:15
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/101888

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