Veritable untruths: Autistic traits and the processing of deception

Wei Li, Hannah Rohde, Martin Corley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


How do we decide whether a statement is literally true? Here, we contrast participants’eventual evaluations of a speaker’s meaning with the real-time processes of comprehension.We record participants’ eye movements as they respond to potentially misleading instructions to click on one of two objects which might be concealing treasure (the treasure is behind thee,uh, hat). Participants are less likely to click on the named object when the instructions are disfluent. However, when hearing disfluent utterances, a tendency to fixate the named object early increases with participants’ Autism Quotient scores. This suggests that, even where utterances are equivalently understood, the processes by which interpretations are achieved vary across individuals.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Early online date18 Nov 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Nov 2021


  • disfluency
  • autism spectrum quotient
  • eye-tracking


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