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Declarative memory and structural language impairment in autistic children and adolescents

Anns, S., Gaigg, S. B. ORCID: 0000-0003-2644-7145, Hampton, J. A., Bowler, D. M. and Boucher, J. (2020). Declarative memory and structural language impairment in autistic children and adolescents. Autism Research: official journal of the International Society for Autism Research, doi: 10.1002/aur.2282

Abstract

Two experiments tested the hypothesis that a plausible contributory factor of structural language impairment in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is impaired declarative memory. We hypothesised that familiarity and recollection (subserving semantic and episodic memory, respectively) are both impaired in autistic individuals with clinically significant language impairment and learning disability (ASDLI/LD); whereas recollection is selectively impaired in autistic individuals with typical language (ASDTL). Teenagers with ASDLI/LD (n = 19) and primary school age children with ASDTL (n = 26) were compared with teenagers with learning disability (LD) (n = 26) without autism, and primary school aged typically developing (TD) children (n = 32). Both experiments provided strong support for the hypothesised links between declarative memory processes and lexical-semantic facets of language in the two autistic groups, but not in the TD group. Additional findings of interest were that declarative memory processes and lexical-semantic knowledge were also linked in the LD group and that the ASD groups –and to a lesser extent the LD group – may have compensated for declarative memory impairments using spared visual-perceptual abilities, a finding with potential educational implications. Relative difficulties with familiarity and recollection in ASDLI/LD and LD may help explain structural language impairment, as investigated here, but also the broader learning disabilities found in these populations.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Anns, S., Gaigg, S. B. , Hampton, J. A., Bowler, D. M. and Boucher, J. (2020). Declarative memory and structural language impairment in autistic children and adolescents. Autism Research: official journal of the International Society for Autism Research, which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1939-3806/. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.
Publisher Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Language Impairment, Memory, Familiarity, Recollection
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Psychology
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/23592
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