Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 10, pp 2141–2151 | Cite as

Do Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders Compensate in Naturalistic Prospective Memory Tasks?

  • Mareike AltgassenEmail author
  • Nancy Koban
  • Matthias Kliegel
Original Paper


The present study is the first to directly compare event- and time-based prospective memory in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) using a contextual task mirroring real life demands of prospective memory. Twenty-five individuals with ASD and 25 age- and ability-matched controls completed the Dresden Breakfast task which required participants to prepare breakfast following a set of rules and time restrictions. Overall, adults with ASD had less correct time- and event-based prospective memory responses in comparison to controls, which is consistent with previous research in children with ASD. Moreover, ASD participants completed fewer tasks, followed rules less closely, and monitored the elapsing time less closely than controls. Individuals with ASD seem not to be compensating in naturalistic prospective memory tasks.


Prospective memory Executive functions PDD Monitoring 



We are grateful to Professor Fergus Craik, Rotman Research Institute, Toronto, for his helpful comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. We would like to thank Pauline Greve, Anett Kretschmer and Sergio Cortez for their help in data collection and data analyses.

Supplementary material

10803_2012_1466_MOESM1_ESM.doc (24 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 23 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mareike Altgassen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nancy Koban
    • 1
  • Matthias Kliegel
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTechnische Universitaet DresdenDresdenGermany
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland

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