Central coherence is loosely described as the ability to understand context or to 'see the big picture'.
Many people on the autism specturm are reported to have poor or weak central coherence.
Uta Frith suggested that people with autism typically think about things in the smallest possible parts.
She believes that individuals with autism actually perceive details better than normal people, but that 'they cannot see the wood for the trees.'
Please see Central Coherence and Autism Publications