Subjective Organisation in the Free Recall Learning of Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome

  • Dermot M. Bowler
  • Sebastian B. Gaigg
  • John M. Gardiner
Original Paper

Abstract

Single trial methods reveal unimpaired free recall of unrelated words in Asperger’s syndrome (AS). When repeated trials are used (free recall learning), typical individuals show improved recall over trials, subjective organisation of material (SO) and a correlation between free recall and SO. We tested oral (Experiment 1) and written (Experiment 2) free recall over 16 trials in adults with AS and typical individuals. Across both experiments AS participants showed marginally diminished recall. Poorer SO was seen in the Asperger group only in Experiment 2, but in both experiments, individual differences in SO in the Asperger group were less likely to converge over trials. This lack of convergence suggests that the AS group organise material in idiosyncratic ways.

Keywords

Asperger’s syndrome Memory Free recall Subjective organization Learning 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The work reported in this paper was supported by a project grant from the Wellcome Trust to the first and second authors. An earlier report of the work was presented to the International Meeting for Autism Research, Sacramento, May 2004.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dermot M. Bowler
    • 1
  • Sebastian B. Gaigg
    • 1
  • John M. Gardiner
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCity UniversityLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of SussexBrightonUK

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