Autism results in enhanced motion sensitivity in the patients

Children with autism are more sensitive to motion (Credit:
Children with autism are more sensitive to motion (Credit:

Main Point:

Researchers found that the children with autism are twice as fast as the normal children of their age in the sensitivity of motion.

Published in:

Journal of Neuroscience

Study Further:

Previously, researchers found that the autistic people have enhanced visual abilities with still images. Now, this is the first study to show that they are also highly sensitive to the motion.

In this study, researchers exposed the children to the brief video clips of moving black and white bars to check the ability of the children with autism to perceive motion and found that the “kids with autism, got much, much better—performing twice as well as their peers,’ said Jennifer Foss-Feig, a postdoctoral fellow at the Child Study Center at Yale University.

According to the researchers, this hypersensitivity to the motion may show the condition of autism and may explain why some patients of autism are sensitive to bright lights and loud noises.

“We think of autism as a social disorder because children with this condition often struggle with social interactions, but what we sometimes neglect is that almost everything we know about the world comes from our senses.

“Abnormalities in how a person sees or hears can have a profound effect on social communication,” Duje Tadin, one of the lead authors on the study and an assistant professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester, said in a statement.

“Overall, we report a pattern of motion perception abnormalities in ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) that includes substantial enhancements at high contrast and is consistent with an underlying excitatory/inhibitory imbalance,” Researchers wrote.




Foss-Feig, J., Tadin, D., Schauder, K., & Cascio, C. (2013). A Substantial and Unexpected Enhancement of Motion Perception in Autism Journal of Neuroscience, 33 (19), 8243-8249 DOI: 10.1523/​JNEUROSCI.1608-12.2013

Usman Zafar Paracha

Usman Zafar Paracha is Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutics, in Hajvery University, Lahore, Pakistan.

  • Amber Rose Wilkerson

    Children who are autistic are just like any other “normal” person. They just have a “illness” that people make seem like it should make them grasp things slower than others. When in fact that is not true; they are good with problem solving and in depth complications because they do not have someone else in their brain telling them how to do something. Most in fact do not have a social disorder or better known as a phobia or social anxiety disorder because most of them are outgoing and not shy. They just have some off days that seem to hender in the background until they can learn to cope with it and the people around them.