Color obsessions and phobias in autism spectrum disorders: the case of J.G

Amanda Ludlow, Pamela Heaton, Elisabeth Hill, Anna Franklin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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The current study is the first investigation of color 'obsessions' and 'phobias' in ASD. We investigate the color perception and cognition of J.G., a boy with ASD who has a strong obsession with blue, and a strong phobia of other colors. J.G.'s performance on a series of color tasks (color-entity association; chromatic discrimination; color classification) is compared to 13 children with and without autism who do not have color obsessions or phobias. The findings lead to the formalization of two hypotheses: (i) color obsessions and phobias in individuals with ASD are related to an unusually strong ability to associate colors with entities; (ii) color obsessions are related to hyposensitivity, and color phobias to hypersensitivity, in the affected regions of color space.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-306
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Early online date3 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2014


  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive
  • Color
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obsessive Behavior
  • Phobic Disorders


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