Yuhong V. Jiang, University of Minnesota
Location: MIT Building 46-3002 (auditorium), followed by a reception
Building Address:43 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
A flurry of research on attention in autism occurred in the late 1990's, with finding ranging from enhanced visual search abilities, to a lack of any differences, to delays in attentional disengagement. The work has since become stagnant, even though atypical attention remains a viable account for a range of behaviors in individuals with autism. Here I review previous work on attention and autism, present a theory of how attention is impacted by autism, and provide empirical data that shed light on this theory. I argue that future research on attention should focus on unsupervised, rather than supervised (top-down) attention, and on how attention is shaped by learning.
Supported by the Simons Initiative on Autism and the Brain at MIT (web.mit.edu/autism)