Visual Priming in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders



The study aimed at the analyzing of the temporal dynamics of visual priming in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study involved 20 children with typical development (5 girls and 15 boys, age 6.4±0.4 years), 20 children with mild form of ASD (all boys, age 6.7±0.3 years), 20 children with medium form of ASD (18 boys and 2 girls, age 6.6±0.4 years), 20 children with hard ASD (17 boys and 3 girls, age 6.8±0.2 years). The priming paradigm was used as a research model. Targets were in the form of gratings of horizontal and vertical lines with a repetition rate of 10 cycles per degree. A prime in the form of a vertical grating with a repetition rate of 2 cycles per degree was presented ahead of the target stimulus by 50–600 ms. In the course of the study, it was found that, in contrast to the typical development, in all children with ASD, the effect of prime is absent at interstimulus intervals (ISI) of 50÷150 ms. The response time decreases to congruent and incongruent targets with ISI 200–600 ms with light and medium ASD and with ISI 200–300 ms with hard ASD. The results indicate that changes in the mechanisms of interaction between the prime and targets and the switching of attention between them are manifested in different time intervals after the prime, depending on the severity of ASD.

General Information

Keywords: perception, visual priming, autism spectrum disorders, preschool age

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The reported study was funded by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), project number 17-06-00644-ОГН.

Acknowledgements. The authors would like to thank the team from the Saint-Petersburg Child Rehabilitation Center for their help in organizing the work.

Received: 29.06.2021


For citation: Cherenkova L.V., Sokolova L.V. Visual Priming in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders [Elektronnyi resurs]. Klinicheskaia i spetsial'naia psikhologiia = Clinical Psychology and Special Education, 2022. Vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 192–209. DOI: 10.17759/cpse.2022110109. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Ludmila V. Cherenkova, Doctor of Biology, Professor of the Department of High Nervous Activity and Psychophysiology, Saint-Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Lyudmila V. Sokolova, профессор кафедры высшей нервной деятельности и психофизиологии, Санкт-Петербургский государственный университет (ФГБОУ ВО СПбГУ), St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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