Objective: Whilst deficits on some traditional tests of executive function have been observed in persons with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), a specific pattern of deficits has yet to emerge. The more standard deficits tend to reflect volitional dysregulation of attentional processing. In this study, we aimed to compare the performance of persons with ASD to neurotypical controls using a bimodal virtual-reality Stroop task. Method: Nine individuals diagnosed with ASD and ten neurotypical university students were administered a bimodal virtual-reality Stroop task (ClinicaVR; Virtual Classroom) that assesses automatic and controlled processing in a virtual Classroom that includes visual and auditory stimuli. In the distraction condition, ecologically valid auditory, visual, and audio-visual distractors were presented as the participants completed a bimodal Stroop task. Results: A 2 (ASD vs. Control) by 2 (no distractors vs. distractors) mixed ANOVA revealed an interaction of group and condition, F(1, 16) = 6.34, p = .023. While no differences were observed between groups in the no distraction condition, the ASD group performed significantly worse during the distraction condition, F(1, 17) = 7.54, p = .014. Conclusion: Results indicate inhibitory control in individuals with ASD may be more vulnerable to external disturbance than neurotypical controls. Though many studies have failed to find group differences in inhibition using traditional unimodal Stroop tasks, the bimodal virtual-reality Stroop task with distractions enhanced detection of a deficit that may be experienced by this group in real-world settings.
Use of a Bimodal Virtual-Reality Stroop Task for Assessment of Attentional Conflict in Autism Spectrum Disorders
A Carlew, T Parsons; B-45
Use of a Bimodal Virtual-Reality Stroop Task for Assessment of Attentional Conflict in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Arch Clin Neuropsychol 2015; 30 (6): 539. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acv047.141
Download citation file:
© 2017 Oxford University Press×