Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, 39:1735

Brief Report: Further Evidence for Inner Speech Deficits in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Authors

    • Laboratory of Brain & CognitionNational Institute of Mental Health
  • Jennifer A. Silvers
    • Laboratory of Brain & CognitionNational Institute of Mental Health
  • Alex Martin
    • Laboratory of Brain & CognitionNational Institute of Mental Health
  • Lauren E. Kenworthy
    • Laboratory of Brain & CognitionNational Institute of Mental Health
    • Children’s National Medical Center and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, School of Medicine and Health SciencesThe George Washington University
Brief Report

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-009-0802-8

Cite this article as:
Wallace, G.L., Silvers, J.A., Martin, A. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2009) 39: 1735. doi:10.1007/s10803-009-0802-8

Abstract

Recent research indicates that individuals with autism do not effectively use inner speech during the completion of cognitive tasks. We used Articulatory Suppression (AS) to interfere with inner speech during completion of alternate items from the Tower of London (TOL). AS detrimentally affected TOL performance among typically developing (TD) adolescents (n = 25), but did not significantly diminish performance among adolescents with high functioning (IQ > 80) autism spectrum disorders (n = 28). Moreover, the TD group’s TOL performance under AS was indistinguishable from the autism group’s impaired baseline TOL performance. These findings suggest that diminished inner speech usage among individuals with high functioning autism spectrum disorders (relative to TD controls) may contribute to executive dysfunction associated with these disorders.

Keywords

AutismAsperger’s syndromeInner speechExecutive functionProblem solvingLanguage

Copyright information

© GovernmentEmployee: National Institutes of Health 2009