Brief Report: Self-defining and Everyday Autobiographical Memories in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders
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- Crane, L., Goddard, L. & Pring, L. J Autism Dev Disord (2010) 40: 383. doi:10.1007/s10803-009-0875-4
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Autobiographical memory impairments in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have been attributed to a failure in using the self as an effective memory organisational system. To explore this hypothesis, we compared self-defining and everyday memories in adults with and without ASD. Results demonstrated that both groups were able to distinguish between self-defining and everyday memories, although the ASD group generated fewer specific memories overall. Despite qualitative similarities between the narratives of the two groups, the adults with ASD extracted less meaning from their narratives. Difficulties in eliciting meaning from memories suggests a failure in using past experiences to update the self. We therefore propose that the self-memory relationship might be static, rather than dynamic, in ASD.