Psychophysical assessment of timing in individuals with autism

Melissa J. Allman, Iser G. DeLeon, John H. Wearden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Perception of time, in the seconds to minutes range, is not well characterized in autism. The required interval timing system (ITS) develops at the same stages during infancy as communication, social reciprocity, and other cognitive and behavioral functions. The authors used two versions of a temporal bisection procedure to study the perception of duration in individuals with autism and observed quantifiable differences and characteristic patterns in participants' timing functions. Measures of timing performance correlated with certain autism diagnostic and intelligence scores, and parents described individuals with autism as having a poor sense of time. The authors modeled the data to provide a relative assessment of ITS function in these individuals. The implications of these results for the understanding of autism are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-178
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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