Prolonged neural encoding of visual information in autism

The present study represents the first attempt to use multivariate pattern analysis of EEG data in order to make inferences about the flow of visual information processing under different attentional conditions in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Such innovative approach allowed us to describe how incoming visual input are encoded at the neural level in children with ASD, showing that in both the cue- and target-locked time windows, the hyper-focused attention that has consistently been associated to ASD may be linked at the neural level to an over representation of stimulus information. We suggest that this excessive stimulus encoding, which we found to persist for longer time and to involve broader brain regions, could in turn lead to difficulties in disengaging and reorienting attentional resources to subsequent relevant incoming stimuli.

Quotation: Marsicano, G., Casartelli, L., Federici, A., Bertoni, S., Vignali, L., Molteni, M., Facoetti, A. & Ronconi, L. (2023). Prolonged neural encoding of visual information in autism. Autism Research. DOI: 10.1002/aur.3062