City Research Online

Local Processing Bias Impacts Implicit and Explicit Memory in Autism

Lebreton, K., Malvy, J., Bon, L. , Hamel-Desbruères, A., Marcaggi, G., Clochon, P., Guénolé, F., Moussaoui, E., Bowler, D. M. ORCID: 0000-0002-9884-0627, Bonnet-Brilhault, F., Eustache, F., Baleyte, J. M. & Guillery-Girard, B. (2021). Local Processing Bias Impacts Implicit and Explicit Memory in Autism. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, article number 622462. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.622462


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by atypical perception, including processing that is biased toward local details rather than global configurations. This bias may impact on memory. The present study examined the effect of this perception on both implicit (Experiment 1) and explicit (Experiment 2) memory in conditions that promote either local or global processing. The first experiment consisted of an object identification priming task using two distinct encoding conditions: one favoring local processing (Local condition) and the other favoring global processing (Global condition) of drawings. The second experiment focused on episodic (explicit) memory with two different cartoon recognition tasks that favored either local (i.e., processing specific details) or a global processing (i.e., processing each cartoon as a whole). In addition, all the participants underwent a general clinical cognitive assessment aimed at documenting their cognitive profile and enabling correlational analyses with experimental memory tasks. Seventeen participants with ASD and 17 typically developing (TD) controls aged from 10 to 16 years participated to the first experiment and 13 ASD matched with 13 TD participants were included for the second experiment. Experiment 1 confirmed the preservation of priming effects in ASD but, unlike the Comparison group, the ASD group did not increase his performance as controls after a globally oriented processing. Experiment 2 revealed that local processing led to difficulties in discriminating lures from targets in a recognition task when both lures and targets shared common details. The correlation analysis revealed that these difficulties were associated with processing speed and inhibition. These preliminary results suggest that natural perceptual processes oriented toward local information in ASD may impact upon their implicit memory by preventing globally oriented processing in time-limited conditions and induce confusion between explicit memories that share common details.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021 Lebreton, Malvy, Bon, Hamel-Desbruères, Marcaggi, Clochon, Guénolé, Moussaoui, Bowler, Bonnet-Brilhault, Eustache, Baleyte and Guillery-Girard. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Publisher Keywords: autism, episodic memory, priming, perception, attention
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Lebreton, Malvy, Bon et al (2021) Local processing bias.pdf]
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login