Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 9, pp 2038–2047 | Cite as

ERP Correlates of Recognition Memory in Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Esha Massand
  • Dermot M. Bowler
  • Laurent Mottron
  • Anthony Hosein
  • Boutheina Jemel
Original Paper


Recognition memory in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tends to be undiminished compared to that of typically developing (TD) individuals (Bowler et al. 2007), but it is still unknown whether memory in ASD relies on qualitatively similar or different neurophysiology. We sought to explore the neural activity underlying recognition by employing the old/new word repetition event-related potential effect. Behavioural recognition performance was comparable across both groups, and demonstrated superior recognition for low frequency over high frequency words. However, the ASD group showed a parietal rather than anterior onset (300–500 ms), and diminished right frontal old/new effects (800–1500 ms) relative to TD individuals. This study shows that undiminished recognition performance results from a pattern of differing functional neurophysiology in ASD.


Memory Autism spectrum disorder Event-related potential Recognition Old/new effect 



The authors would like to thank the individuals who participated in the study. The first author was supported by a research studentship and international exchange scholarship from the Department of Psychology, City University London.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Esha Massand
    • 1
    • 3
  • Dermot M. Bowler
    • 1
  • Laurent Mottron
    • 2
  • Anthony Hosein
    • 2
  • Boutheina Jemel
    • 2
  1. 1.Autism Research Group, Department of PsychologyCity UniversityLondonUK
  2. 2.Hôpital Rivière-des-PrairiesUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada
  3. 3.The Center on Human Development and DisabilityUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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