Spatial transformations of bodies and objects in adults with autism spectrum disorder

Amy Pearson, Lauren E Marsh, Antonia Hamilton, Danielle Ropar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Previous research into autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has shown people with autism to be impaired at visual perspective taking. However it is still unclear to what extent the spatial mechanisms underlying this ability contribute to these difficulties. In the current experiment we examine spatial transformations in adults with ASD and typical adults. Participants performed egocentric transformations and mental rotation of bodies and cars. Results indicated that participants with ASD had general perceptual differences impacting on response times across tasks. However, they also showed more specific differences in the egocentric task suggesting particular difficulty with using the self as a reference frame. These findings suggest that impaired perspective taking could be grounded in difficulty with the spatial transformation used to imagine the self in someone else’s place.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2277-2789
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number9
Early online date22 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imagination
  • Male
  • Reaction Time
  • Space Perception
  • Young Adult
  • Spatial transformations
  • Bodies
  • Objects
  • Mental rotation
  • Egocentric
  • Autism


Dive into the research topics of 'Spatial transformations of bodies and objects in adults with autism spectrum disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this