Aim of the project

Previous research carried out at the ARC looked to understand how learning occurs by autistic individuals in environments that are constantly changing. Results suggested that autistic individuals show intact learning in stable environments, but reduced learning under unstable conditions where perceptual predictions need to be regularly updated.  
This project will extend this work through further analysis of the existing dataset and also expand it by taking follow-up EEG scans to study the neural underpinnings of learning under uncertainty.

Importance of research

Developing an understanding of how autistic people process unpredictability will have benefits in both clinical and educational settings, as well has providing a clearer picture of the unique aspects of cognition in autism.

We hope that this research will answer important questions about the types of environment that autistic individuals respond to better, and could inform strategies for managing challenges in daily life.  It could support the development of autism friendly classrooms or could also allow for the development of specific behavioural therapies to manage anxiety.

Scientists involved

  • Owen Parsons

Key findings

Project will run until mid 2019