City Research Online

Self-referential memory in autism spectrum disorder and typical development: Exploring the ownership effect

Grisdale, E., Lind, S. E., Williams, D. M. & Eacott, M. J. (2014). Self-referential memory in autism spectrum disorder and typical development: Exploring the ownership effect. Consciousness and Cognition, 30, pp. 133-141. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2014.08.023


Owned objects occupy a privileged cognitive processing status and are viewed almost as extensions of the self. It has been demonstrated that items over which a sense of ownership is felt will be better recalled than other items. As autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterised by an impaired self-concept, people with ASD may not demonstrate this ownership effect. Two experiments were conducted which replicate Cunningham, Turk, Macdonald, & Macrae (2008). In Experiment 1, neurotypical adults completed a card sorting task and cards belonging to the ‘self’ were better remembered than cards belonging to the ‘other’. In the second experiment, adults with ASD recalled self- and other-referent items equally well. These results shed light both on the nature of the self-concept in ASD and the relationship between sense of self and the ownership effect.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Consciousness and Cognition. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Consciousness and Cognition, Volume 30, November 2014, Pages 133–141,
Publisher Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, recognition memory, ownership, self-reference effect, self-awareness
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
PDF - Accepted Version
Download (341kB) | Preview



Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login