Original Paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 10, pp 2100-2112

First online:

Patterns of Autobiographical Memory in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Laura CraneAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of LondonLondon South Bank University Email author 
  • , Linda PringAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • , Kaylee JukesAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • , Lorna GoddardAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London

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Abstract

Two studies are presented that explored the effects of experimental manipulations on the quality and accessibility of autobiographical memories in adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), relative to a typical comparison group matched for age, gender and IQ. Both studies found that the adults with ASD generated fewer specific memories than the comparison group, and took significantly longer to do so. Despite this, experimental manipulations affected two indices of autobiographical memory (specificity and retrieval latency) similarly in both groups. These results suggest that adults with ASD experience a quantitative reduction in the speed and specificity of autobiographical memory retrieval, but that when they do retrieve these memories, they do so in a way that is qualitatively similar to that of typical adults.

Keywords

Autism Autobiographical memory Sensory Imageability Frequency