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Atypical Neurophysiology Underlying Episodic and Semantic Memory in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Massand, E. & Bowler, D. M. (2015). Atypical Neurophysiology Underlying Episodic and Semantic Memory in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45(2), pp. 298-315. doi: 10.1007/s10803-013-1869-9


Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show atypicalities in episodic memory (Boucher et al. in Psychological Bulletin, 138 (3), 458-496, 2012). We asked participants to recall the colours of a set of studied line drawings (episodic judgement), or to recognize line drawings alone (semantic judgement). Cycowicz et al. (Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 65, 171-237, 2001) found early (300 ms onset) posterior old-new event-related potential effects for semantic judgements in typically developing (TD) individuals, and occipitally focused negativity (800 ms onset) for episodic judgements. Our results replicated findings in TD individuals and demonstrate attenuated early old-new effects in ASD. Late posterior negativity was present in the ASD group, but was not specific to this time window. This non-specificity may contribute to the atypical episodic memory judgements characteristic of individuals with ASD.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via
Publisher Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, Episodic, Event-related potential, Memory, Semantic, Source memory
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
[thumbnail of Massand & Bowler Atypical Neuropsychology, Final accepted MS.pdf]
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