Autistic traits are not a strong predictor of binocular rivalry dynamics Academic Article uri icon


  • It has been suggested that differences in binocular rivalry switching rates and mixed percept durations in ASD could serve as a biomarker of excitation/inhibition imbalances in the autistic brain. If so, one would expect these differences to extend to neurotypical groups with high vs. low levels of autistic tendency. Previous studies did not detect any correlations between binocular rivalry dynamics and Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) scores in neurotypical control groups; however it is unclear whether this was due to the characteristics of the rivalry stimuli that were used. We further investigated this possibility in a sample of neurotypical young adults. The binocular rivalry stimuli were simple gratings, complex objects, or scrambled objects, which were presented dichoptically, either at fixation or in the periphery. A Bayesian correlation analysis showed that individuals with higher AQ scores tended to have lower perceptual switching rates for the centrally presented, simple grating rival stimuli. However, there was no evidence of a relationship between AQ and switching rates, reversal rates or mixed percept durations for any of the other binocular rivalry conditions. Overall, our findings suggest that in the non-clinical population, autistic personality traits are not a strong predictor of binocular rivalry dynamics.

publication date

  • 2018