WORKING MEMORY ABILITIES IN CHILDREN WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER

Maria A. Estratopoulou, Maria Sofologi

Abstract


Aim: The aim of the present study was to investigate possible differences on working memory abilities between children with Autism spectrum disorder and typical children. The potential facilitating effect of verbal mediation on working memory was investigated measuring children’s ability to use language-based encoding and rehearsal processes to enhance working memory. Method: Participants were divided into two groups: a group of 26 children diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder (16 boys and 10 girls) and to a group of 25 typical controls (17 boys and 8 girls) matched on non-verbal intelligence. Examination of working memory was based on non-verbal variants of the non-spatial, self-ordered pointing test (SOPT) devised by Petrides and Milner (1982). Both the Verbal Span Test and the Self-ordered tests were performed to the participants. Results: The resulting profile on memory abilities in children with autism was characterized by relatively poor memory for complex verbal and visual test. The different pattern of memory performance between the two groups indicates that the more complex the task and the information being processed, the more taxed the resources of the memory system become. Discussion: The results provide useful information to take into consideration when designing interventions for children with Autism spectrum disorder in clinical and educational settings.

 

Article visualizations:

Hit counter

DOI

Keywords


autism spectrum disorder, working memory, non-verbal intelligence, memory abilities

Full Text:

PDF

References


Baddeley, A. D. (1996a). Exploring the central executive. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 49, 5–28.

Baddeley, A. (2012). Working memory: theories, models, and controversies. Annual Review of Psychology, 63, 1-29.

Baron- Cohen, S. (2001). Theory of mind and autism: a review. Special Issue of the International Review of Mental Retardation, 23, 169.

Barth, C., Fein, D., Waterhouse, L. (1995). Delayed match-to-sample performance in autistic children. Developmental Neuropsychology, 11, 53–69.

Bennetto, L., Pennington, B., & Rogers, S. (1996). Intact and impaired memory functions in autism. Child Development, 67, 1816–1835.

Ben Shalom, D. (2003). Memory in autism: Review and synthesis. Cortex, 39, 1129-1138.

Boucher, J., & Lewis, V. (1992).Unfamiliar face recognition in relatively able autistic children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 33, 843–859.

Bryan, J., & Luszch, M. A. (2001). Adult age differences in self-ordered pointing task performance contributions from working memory, executive functions and speed of information processing. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 23, 608-619.

Chakrabarti, S., & Fombonne, E. (2001). Pervasive developmental disorders in preschool children. JAMA, 285, 3093–3099.

Constantino, J. N., & Todd, R. D. (2003). Autistic traits in the general population: A twin study. Archives of General Psychiatry, 60, 524–530.

Efstratopoulou, M. (2017). The Enigma of Autism: Genius, Disability or just Different? Nova Publishers, NY Inc.

Maria A. Efstratopoulou (2014). Working with Challenging Children: From theory to practice in Education. Nova Publishers, NY Inc.

Efstratopoulou, M., Janssen, R., & Simons, J. (2012). Differentiating children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Learning Disabilities and Autistic Spectrum Disorders by means of their motor behavior characteristics. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 33, 196–204.

Fein, D., Joy, S., Green, L., & Waterhouse, L. (1996). Autism and pervasive developmental disorders. In B. Fogel, R. Schiffer, & S. Rao (Eds). Neuropsychiatry (pp. 571-615) Baltimore, MD: Williams & Williams.

Frith, U. (1992). Cognitive Development and Cognitive Deficit. The Psychologist, 5, 13-19.

Fombonne, E. (2003) Epidemiological surveys of autism and other pervasive developmental disorders: an update. Journal of Autism and Developmental. Disorders, 33, 365–382.

Gepner, B., de Gelder, B., & de Schonen, S. (1996). Face processing in autistics: Evidence for a generalized deficit. Child Neuropsychology, 2, 123–139.

Geurts, H. M., Verté, S., Oosterlaan, J., Roeyers, H., & Sergeant, J. A. (2004). How specific are executive functioning deficits in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism? Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45, 836-854.

Hill, E. L. (2004). Executive dysfunction in autism. Trends of Cognitive and Science, 8, 26-32.

Horner, R., Carr, E., Strain, P., Todd, A., & Reed, H. (2002). Problem behavior interventions for young children. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 32, 423–446.

Hughes, C., Russell, J., & Robbins, T. W. (1994). Evidence for executive dysfunction in autism. Neuropsychologia, 32, 477–492.

Jeste, S. S., Friedman, S. L., Urion, D. K. (2009). Child Neurology: Autism as a model: Considerations for advanced training in behavioral child neurology. Neurology, 73, 733–735.

Just, M. A., & Carpenter, P. A. (1992). A capacity theory of comprehension: Individual differences in working memory. Psychological Review, 99,122–149.

Just, M. A., Cherkassky, V. L., Keller, T. A., & Minshew, N. J. (2004). Cortical activation and synchronization during sentence comprehension in high-functioning autism: Evidence of underconnectivity. Brain, 127, 1811–1821.

Klin, A. K., Sparrow, S. S., de Bildt, A., Cicchetti, D. V., Cohen, D. J.,& Volkmar, F. R. (1999). A normed study of face recognition in autism and related disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders,29,499–508.

Koshino, H., Carpenter, P. A., Minshew, N. J., Cherkassky, V. L., Keller, T. A.,& Just, M.A.(2005). Functional connectivity in an fMRI working memory task with high-functioning autism. Neuroimage, 24, 810–821.

Minshew, N. J.,& Goldstein, G. (1998).Autism as a disorder of complex information processing. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 4,129–136.

Minshew, N. J., & Goldstein, G. (2001). The pattern of intact and impaired memory functions in autism. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 42, 1095–1101.

Minshew, N. I., Goldstein, G., Muenz, L. R., & Payton, J. B. (1992). Neuropsychological functioning of nonmentally retarded autistic individuals. Journal of Clinical neuropsychology, 14, 749-761.

Minshew, N. I., Goldstein, G., & Siegel. D. (1997). Neuropsychological functioning in autism: Profile of a complex information processing disorder. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 3, 303-316.

Minshew, N. J., Williams, D. L. (2007). The new neurobiology of autism: Cortex, connectivity, and neuronal organization. Archives of Neurology, 64, 945–950.

Mottron, L., Dawson, M., Soulieres, I., Hubert, B., Burack, J. (2006). Enhanced perceptual functioning in autism: An update, and eight principles of autistic perception. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36, 27– 43.

Ozonoff, S., & Jensen, J. (1999). Brief report: Specific executive function profiles in three neurodevelopmental disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 29, 171–177.

Ozonoff, S., & McEvoy, R. E. (1994). A longitudinal study of executive function and theory of mind development in autism. Development and Psychopathology, 6, 415–431.

Ozonoff, S., Pennington, B. F., & Rogers, S. J. (1991). Executive function deficits in high-functioning autistic individuals: Relationship to theory of mind. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 32, 1081–1105.

Ozonoff, S., & Strayer, D. L. (1997). Inhibitory function in nonretarded children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 27, 59–77.

Ozonoff, S., & Strayer, D. L. (2001). Further evidence of intact working memory in autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31, 257–263.

Ozonoff, S., Strayer, D. L., McMahon, W. M., & Filloux, F. (1994). Executive function abilities in autism and Tourette syndrome: An information processing approach. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 35, 1015–1032.

Petrides, M. (1996). Specialized systems for the processing of information within the primate frontal cortex. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London: Series B, 351, 1455-1462.

Petrides, M., & Milner, B. (1982). Deficits on subject-ordered tasks after frontal- and temporal-lobe lesions in man. Neuropsychologia, 20, 249–262.

Piek, J. P., & Dyck, M. J. (2004). Sensory-motor deficits in children with developmental coordination disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autistic disorder. Human Movement Sciences, 23, 475–488.

Prior, M. R., Chen, C. S. (1976). Short-term and serial memory in autistic, retarded, and normal children. Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia, 6,121–131.

Raven, J. (1965). Colour Progressive Matrices. Lewis, London, Sets: A, Ab and B.

Roberts, R. J., & Pennington, B. F. (1996). An interactive framework for examining prefrontal cognitive processes. Developmental Neuropsychology, 12, 105–126.

Russell, J. (Ed.). (1997). How executive disorders can bring about an inadequate ‘theory of mind’. In: Autism as an executive disorder (pp. 256–304). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Russell, J., Jarrold, C., & Henry, L. (1996). Working memory in children with autism and with moderate learning difficulties. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 37, 673–686.

Russell, J., Mauthner, N., Sharpe, S., & Tidswell, T. (1991). The ‘windows task’ as a measure of strategic deception in preschoolers and autistic subjects. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 9, 331–349.

Sofologi, M. (2014). Working memory abilities in children. In Efstratopoulou (Ed) Working with Challenging Children: From theory to practice in Education. Nova Publishers, NY Inc.

Skuse, H. D., Mandy, L. P. W., & Scourfield, J. (2005). Measuring autistic traits: Heritability, reliability and validity of the Social and Communication Disorders Checklist. British Journal of Psychiatry, 187, 568–572.

Snodgrass, J. G., & Vanderwart, M. (1980). A standardized set of 260 pictures: Norms of name agreement, image agreement, familiarity, and visual complexity. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory, 6, 174-215.

Spiker, D., Lotspeich, L. J., Dimiceli, S., Myers, R., & Risch, N. (2002). Behavioral phenotypic variation in autism multiplex families: Evidence for a continuous severity gradient. American Journal of Medical Genetics, 114, 129–136.

Williams, D. L., Goldstein, G., Carpenter, P.A., & Minshew, N. J. (2005). Verbal and spatial working memory in autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 35.

Williams, D. L., Goldstein, G., Minshew, N. J. (2006a). The profile of memory function in children with autism. Neuropsychology, 20, 21–29.

Williams, D. L., Goldstein, G., Minshew, N. J. (2006b). Neuropsychologic functioning in children with autism: Further evidence for disordered complex information-processing. Child Neuropsychology, 12, 279–298.

Yeargin-Allsopp, M., Rice, C., Karapurkar, T., Doernberg, N., Boyle, C., & Murphy, C. (2003). Prevalence of autism in a US metropolitan area. JAMA, 289, 49–55.




Copyright © 2015. European Journal of Special Education Research (ISSN 2501 - 2428) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing GroupAll rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms.

All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).