Bimodal Virtual Reality Stroop for Assessing Distractor Inhibition in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Thomas D. Parsons, Anne R. Carlew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Executive functioning deficits found in college students with ASD may have debilitating effects on their everyday activities. Although laboratory studies tend to report unimpaired inhibition in autism, studies of resistance to distractor inhibition reveal difficulties. In two studies, we compared a Virtual Classroom task with paper-and-pencil and computerized Stroop modalities in typically developing individuals and individuals with ASD. While significant differences were not observed between ASD and neurotypical groups on the paper-and-pencil and computerized task, individuals with ASD performed significantly worse on the virtual task with distractors. Findings suggest the potential of the Virtual Classroom Bimodal Stroop task to distinguish between prepotent response inhibition (non-distraction condition) and resistance to distractor inhibition (distraction condition) in adults with high functioning autism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1255-1267
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Autism
  • Ecological validity
  • Executive functioning
  • Neuropsychology
  • Stroop
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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