Based on a review of the literature and on reports by people with autism, this paper suggests that atypical resource allocation is a factor that contributes to many aspects of autism spectrum conditions, including difficulties with language and social cognition, atypical sensory and attentional experiences, executive and motor challenges, and perceptual and conceptual strengths and weaknesses. Drawing upon resource theoretical approaches that suggest that perception, cognition, and action draw upon multiple pools of resources, the approach hypothesizes that compared with resources in typical cognition, resources in autism are narrowed or reduced, especially in people with strong sensory symptoms. In narrowed attention, resources are restricted to smaller areas and to fewer modalities, stages of processing, and cognitive processes than in typical cognition; narrowed resources may be more intense than in typical cognition. In reduced attentional capacity, overall resources are reduced; resources may be restricted to fewer modalities, stages of processing, and cognitive processes than in typical cognition, or the amount of resources allocated to each area or process may be reduced. Possible neural bases of the hypothesized atypical resource allocation, relations to other approaches, limitations, and tests of the hypotheses are discussed.
Goldknopf, E. J. (2013). Atypical resource allocation may contribute to many aspects of autism. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 7. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnint.2013.00082