University of Hertfordshire

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When less is more: Poor discrimination but good colour memory in autism

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-156
Number of pages9
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Early online date5 Jun 2007
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jun 2007


In two experiments children with autism and two groups of controls matched for either chronological or non-verbal mental age were tested on tasks of colour discrimination and memory. The results from experiment 1 showed significantly poorer colour discrimination in children with autism in comparison to typically developing chronological age matched controls. However, in experiment 2, children with autism, retained unlabelled perceptual colour information to a significantly higher level than either group of controls. The findings suggest that enhanced performance on perceptual tasks relate to a reduced tendency to encode verbal information in memory.


© 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This is the accepted manuscript version of an article which has been published in final form at

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