Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 39, Issue 7, pp 1031–1038 | Cite as

Illusory Memories of Emotionally Charged Words in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Further Evidence for Atypical Emotion Processing Outside the Social Domain

  • Sebastian B. Gaigg
  • Dermot M. Bowler
original paper


Recent evidence suggests that individuals with ASD may not accumulate distinct representations of emotional information throughout development. On the basis of this observation we predicted that such individuals would not be any less likely to falsely remember emotionally significant as compared to neutral words when such illusory memories are induced by asking participants to study lists of words that are orthographically associated to these words. Our findings showed that typical participants are far less likely to experience illusory memories of emotionally charged as compared to neutral words. Individuals with ASD, on the other hand, did not exhibit this emotional modulation of false memories. We discuss this finding in relation to the role of emotional processing atypicalities in ASD.


Autism Spectrum Disorder Memory Orthographic associations Emotional processing Illusory memories 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Autism Research Group, Department of PsychologyCity UniversityLondonUK

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