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Lack of Privileged Access to Awareness for Rewarding Social Scenes in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

J Autism Dev Disord. 2018 May 04;:

Authors: Gray KLH, Haffey A, Mihaylova HL, Chakrabarti B

Reduced social motivation is hypothesised to underlie social behavioural symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The extent to which rewarding social stimuli are granted privileged access to awareness in ASD is currently unknown. We use continuous flash suppression to investigate whether individuals with and without ASD show privileged access to awareness for social over nonsocial rewarding scenes that are closely matched for stimulus features. Strong evidence for a privileged access to awareness for rewarding social over nonsocial scenes was observed in neurotypical adults. No such privileged access was seen in ASD individuals, and moderate support for the null model was noted. These results suggest that the purported deficits in social motivation in ASD may extend to early processing mechanisms.

PMID: 29728947 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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