Visual event-related potentials were recorded from five male autistics and five matched controls. Sensory effects were investigated by having subjects passively view flashes of three different but equiprobable intensities (augmenting/reducing paradigm). Cognitive effects were examined by having subjects count infrequent, target, flashes of one intensity embedded within a series of frequent, nontarget, flashes of a different intensity (oddball paradigm). In the augmenting/reducing paradigm, the sensory N100 wave of autistic but not controls showed a significant increase in amplitude (augmenting) as flash intensity increased. The cognitive P300 wave of autistics did not differ from controls in the oddball paradigm. Unlike controls, autistics had an equally large P300 in the no-task augmenting/reducing paradigm. It is concluded that autistics may experience a degree of stimulus overload in the visual modality.