Hierarchical Processing in ASD is Driven by Exaggerated Salience Effects, not Local Bias

Ayelet Baisa*, Carmel Mevorach, Lilach Shalev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The role of relative salience in processing of hierarchical stimuli in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was examined in this study. Participants with ASD and typically developing controls performed a Navon letters task under conditions of global salience, local salience or equal salience of both levels. Results revealed no group differences in level of processing (global or local) and no local bias for ASD. Rather, both groups showed better performance when targets were more salient compared to when distractors were more salient. Importantly, participants with ASD exhibited increased sensitivity to salience at the distractor level. We conclude that inconsistent findings in the context of global/local processing in ASD may stem from such exaggerated salience effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)666–676
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation1595/11


    • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
    • Global perception
    • Hierarchical perception
    • Local perception
    • Navon letters
    • Salience


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