Autistic-Like Traits in Children are Associated with Enhanced Performance in a Qualitative Visual Working Memory Task

Hamilton, Colin, Mammarella, Irene and Giofrè, David (2018) Autistic-Like Traits in Children are Associated with Enhanced Performance in a Qualitative Visual Working Memory Task. Autism Research, 11 (11). pp. 1494-1499. ISSN 1939-3792

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/aur.2028

Abstract

Prior research has suggested that individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) demonstrate heterogeneity in cognitive efficacy, challenged executive resources but efficient visual processing. These contrasts lead to opposing predictions about visuospatial working memory competency in both ASD and the broader autism phenotype (BAP); compromised by constrained executive processes, but potentially scaffolded by effective visual representation. It is surprising therefore, that there is a paucity of visual working memory (VWM) research in both the ASD and BAP populations. focusing upon the visual features of the to-be remembered stimulus. We assessed whether individual differences in VWM were associated with autistic-like traits (ALT) in the BAP. 76 children carried out the Visual JND task, designed to measure high fidelity feature representation within VWM. ALTs were measured with the Children’s Empathy Quotient and Systemizing Quotient. Analyses revealed a significant positive relationship between Systemizing and VWM performance. This complements ASD studies in visual processing and highlights the need for further research on the working memory – long-term memory interface in ASD and BAP populations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: broader autism phenotype, children, cognition, visual working memory, long-term memory
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2018 10:38
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2019 03:30
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/35910

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