The relationship between sensory sensitivity and autistic traits in the general population.

Robertson, A.E. and Simmons, D.R. (2013) The relationship between sensory sensitivity and autistic traits in the general population. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43(4), pp. 775-784. (doi: 10.1007/s10803-012-1608-7)



Publisher's URL:


Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) tend to have sensory processing difficulties (Baranek et al. in J Child Psychol Psychiatry 47:591–601, 2006). These difficulties include over- and under-responsiveness to sensory stimuli, and problems modulating sensory input (Ben-Sasson et al. in J Autism Dev Disorders 39:1–11, 2009). As those with ASD exist at the extreme end of a continuum of autistic traits that is also evident in the general population, we investigated the link between ASD and sensory sensitivity in the general population by administering two questionnaires online to 212 adult participants. Results showed a highly significant positive correlation (r = .775, p < .001) between number of autistic traits and the frequency of sensory processing problems. These data suggest a strong link between sensory processing and autistic traits in the general population, which in turn potentially implicates sensory processing problems in social interaction difficulties.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Copies of Glasgow sensory questionnaire used in this study are available on request from the authors for research purposes
Keywords:Autism, sensory processing, autism spectrum disorders, autism spectrum quotient, autistic traits, vision, hearing, touch, taste, smell, chemical senses
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Robertson, Dr Ashley and Simmons, Dr David
Authors: Robertson, A.E., and Simmons, D.R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Journal Abbr.:JADD
ISSN (Online):1573-3432
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 The Authors
First Published:Published in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 43(4):775-784
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record