Individuals with autism may have lower tolerance for within-category variability

Principal Investigator(s):
Elena Luchkina
Grant Type:
Graduate Research
Brown University
Providence, Rhode Island
Year Awarded:
Social and Communication Skills


In recent years, researchers have paid close attention to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) as some reports suggest that diagnostic rates of this disorder have increased around the globe in the recent decades, since it was first described in 1954. Investigations of categorization in ASD have produced a pattern of findings that suggest that individuals with autism may have a lower tolerance of within-category variability than typical individuals. Individuals with ASD may focus on information that varies only within the tolerated range, which would explain the tendency to form narrower and lower-level categories (Noach, 1974), to categorize based on fewer dimensions (Bott et al., 2006), and to be less likely to generalize rules (e.g., Lovaas, Koegel, & Schreibman, 1979)

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