Memory and the self in autism: A review and theoretical framework

Lind, S. E. (2010). Memory and the self in autism: A review and theoretical framework. Autism: International Journal of Research and Practice, 14(5), pp. 430-456. doi: 10.1177/1362361309358700

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Abstract

This paper reviews research on (a) autobiographical episodic and semantic memory, (b) the self-reference effect, (c) memory for the actions of self versus other (the self-enactment effect), and (d) non-autobiographical episodic memory in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and provides a theoretical framework to account for the bi-directional relationship between memory and the self in ASD. It is argued that individuals with ASD have diminished psychological self-knowledge (as a consequence of diagnostic social and communication impairments), alongside intact physical self-knowledge, resulting in an under-elaborated self-concept. As a result, individuals with ASD show impaired autobiographical episodic memory and a reduced self-reference effect (which may each rely on psychological aspects of the self-concept) but do not show specific impairments in memory for their own rather than others’ actions (which may rely on physical aspects of the self-concept). However, it is also argued that memory impairments in ASD (e.g., in non-autobiographical episodic memory) may not be entirely accounted for in terms of self-related processes. Other factors, such as deficits in memory binding, may also play a role. Finally, it is argued that deficits in autobiographical episodic memory and future thinking may result in a diminished temporally extended self-concept in ASD.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, autobiographical memory, episodic memory, memory, self
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Divisions: School of Health Sciences > Department of Language & Communication Science
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/2448

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