My research group explores how autistic people process information. We are therefore interested in describing the perceptual, memory and reasoning mechanisms by which autistic people perceive the world, construct representations and manipulate them. Our ultimate goal is to facilitate the integration of autistic people into society whatever their age, whilst respecting their differences.
Commentary by Laurent Mottron on a controversial issue related to how best to most effectively pursue autism research in the future. Responses from various researchers as well as Laurent Mottron's response to these opinions.
An important new article by David Gagnon and several colleagues in the group appeared in
Molecular Autism: Bayonet‑shaped language development in autism with regression: a retrospective
Widening Inborn Constraints for Language Ability: The Case for Autism
A lot of autistic people learn to speak in an atypical manner, for example by favouring non-social learning (though the TV, radio, or books for example) over social learning (verbal exchanges with peers).
This non-social acquisition of language represents a strong argument in favour of nativist models of human language, like Chomsky’s innatism which proposes that mental structures present at birth allow us to acquire linguistic knowledge.
In this preprint article, Dr. Laurent Mottron, Alexia Ostrolenk, and David Gagnon highlight the importance of considering diverse modes of learning as part of human nature and a plural society.
This website features the work of autistic artists!
EC was an autistic man who passed away in the 1990s, and possessed the ability to draw inanimate objects in 3D. His drawings were almost always done on A4 paper using black fine felt-tip or ballpoint pens, with little color. Without using a ruler, or ever needing to touch up his work, EC was able to trace perfect lines, circles and ellipses. He was also able to draw an object as it rotated through space, without needing to manipulate or walk around the object. Motors, explosions and angry women were recurrent themes in EC’s work. A project looking into his exceptional skills (Mottron & Belleville, 1993, 1995) lay the groundwork for models of perceptual “overfunctioning” in autism.