Size constancy is preserved but afterimages are prolonged in typical individuals with higher degrees of self-reported autistic traits

Irene Sperandio, Katy L. Unwin, Oriane Landry, Philippe A. Chouinard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


Deficits in perceptual constancies from early infancy have been proposed to contribute to autism and exacerbate its symptoms (Hellendoorn et al., Frontiers in Psychology 6:1–16, 2015). Here, we examined size constancy in adults from the general population (N = 106) with different levels of self-reported autistic traits using an approach based on negative afterimages. The afterimage strength, as indexed by duration and vividness, was also quantified. In opposition to the Hellendoorn and colleagues’ model, we were unable to demonstrate any kind of relationship between abilities in size constancy and autistic traits. However, our results demonstrated that individuals with higher degrees of autistic traits experienced more persistent afterimages. We discuss possible retinal and post-retinal explanations for prolonged afterimages in people with higher levels of autistic traits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447–459
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number2
Early online date23 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


  • Adaptation
  • Afterimage
  • Autism spectrum quotient
  • Light sensitivity

Cite this