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Short-term memory in autism spectrum disorder

Poirier, M., Martin, J. S., Gaigg, S. B. & Bowler, D. M. (2011). Short-term memory in autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 120(1), pp. 247-252. doi: 10.1037/a0022298


Three experiments examined verbal short-term memory in comparison and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) participants. Experiment 1 involved forward and backward digit recall. Experiment 2 used a standard immediate serial recall task where, contrary to the digit-span task, items (words) were not repeated from list to list. Hence, this task called more heavily on item memory. Experiment 3 tested short-term order memory with an order recognition test: Each word list was repeated with or without the position of 2 adjacent items swapped. The ASD group showed poorer performance in all 3 experiments. Experiments 1 and 2 showed that group differences were due to memory for the order of the items, not to memory for the items themselves. Confirming these findings, the results of Experiment 3 showed that the ASD group had more difficulty detecting a change in the temporal sequence of the items.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Adolescent, Adult, Analysis of Variance, Autistic Disorder, Female, Humans, Male, Memory, Short-Term, Mental Recall, Middle Aged, Neuropsychological Tests, Serial Learning
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
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