Superior perceptual capacity in autism:
investigating universality, specificity and practical applications for learning
In our research, we aim to gain a deeper understanding of how autistic individuals perceive and process information in different situations. By doing this, we hope to provide better support for those who struggle with sensory sensitivities and develop the best possible learning conditions for all. Adjusting tasks, expectations, and environments to suit individual needs can help create optimal conditions for learning and development. Our research also aims to aid educators in minimising unnecessary distractions during interactions, promoting a world that nurtures the flourishing of every autistic person.
Our previous research in this area has found that autistic people can take in more information at any given moment, e.g., are better at detecting a target sound hidden among other sounds, compared to non-autistic people. This could be useful in some situations, but problematic in others. We now want to understand more about these differences in autistic attention, and whether they are unique to being autistic. We continue to raise awareness of a more positive side of autism, without downplaying the challenges associated with it.
We are dedicated to sharing our findings with a wider audience beyond Academia and to using accessible language that doesn’t oversimplify the science.
Save The Date: Teach Meet Workshop, Central London, Tuesday 7 November, 6pm – 8pm. More details to follow.
Jana Brinkert – Postdoctoral Research Associate
Freya Elise – Research Assistant
Charlie Hamilton – Communications Assistant
Brian Irvine – Postdoctoral Research Associate
Anna Remington – Principal Investigator
Emily K. Farran – University of Surrey (Co-Investigator)
Elizabeth Milne – University of Sheffield (Co-Investigator)
Daniel Poole – University of Sheffield (collaborator)
Gaia Scerif – Oxford University (Co-Investigator)
- Remington, A., Brinket, J. (2020) Making sense of the perceptual capacities in autistic and non-autistic adults. Autism. Online.
- Remington, A. M., Hanley, M., O’Brien, S., Riby, D., & Swettenham, J. (2019). Implications of capacity in the classroom: simplifying tasks for autistic children may not be the answer. Research in Developmental Disabilities.
- Wilson, C. (2018) Autism can bring extra abilities and now we’re finding out why. New Scientist. Online.
- Remington, A. (2017) Autistic people can hear more than most – which can be a strength and a challenge. The Conversation. Online.
- Parsons, O. E., Bayliss, A. P., & Remington, A. (2017). A few of my favourite things: circumscribed interests in autism are not accompanied by increased attentional salience on a personalized selective attention task. Molecular autism, 8, 20. doi:10.1186/s13229-017-0132-1
- Remington, A. M., & Fairnie, J. (2017). A sound advantage: increased auditory capacity in autism. Cognition. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2017.04.002