Test involving optical illusion could help diagnose autism

Arriving at a diagnosis for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be difficult. This is especially true for cases that are borderline.

A new study says that noting the way a person's pupils dilate as they watch a column of shifting dots may help specialists have a clue to help them decide which way a person's brain may be wired.

This discovery is from researchers in Italy. They have found a simple optical illusion could be used to objectively detect how some people tend to zoom in on details and miss the bigger picture.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) covers a range of traits, all of which can range from mild to severe in effect.

These usually include difficulties in fine motor control and processing sensory information. It leads to behaviors like avoiding overstimulation or repetitive movements.

Communicating and responding to social suggestions can also be a challenge. This can lead to problems with basic language skills to being completely non-verbal.

With so many signs, ASD can be easily missed.

The researchers ran the illusion test over 50 adults who did not have an ASD diagnosis. Rather than ask the volunteers what they saw, the researchers used a feedback trick involving their eyes. They tested the volunteers for autism-linked traits using a self-reported questionnaire.

People who ranked higher on the survey tended to show pupil fluctuations that suggested they were focusing more on the illusion's details.

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