Visuo-Spatial Performance in Autism: A Meta-analysis

Anne Muth, Johannes Honekopp, Christine Falter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


Visuo-spatial skills are believed to be enhanced in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). This meta-analysis tests the current state of evidence for Figure Disembedding, Block Design, Mental Rotation and Navon tasks in ASD and neurotypicals. Block Design (d = 0.32) and Figure Disembedding (d = 0.26) showed superior performance for ASD with large heterogeneity that is unaccounted for. No clear differences were found for Mental Rotation. ASD samples showed a stronger local processing preference for Navon tasks (d = 0.35); less clear evidence for performance differences of a similar magnitude emerged. We discuss the meta-analysis results together with other findings relating to visuo-spatial processing and three cognitive theories of ASD: Weak Central Coherence, Enhanced Perceptual Functioning and Extreme Male Brain theory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3245-3263
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


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