Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 1193–1206 | Cite as

Online Action Monitoring and Memory for Self-Performed Actions in Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Catherine Grainger
  • David M. Williams
  • Sophie E. Lind
Original Paper

Abstract

This study explored whether individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience difficulties with action monitoring. Two experimental tasks examined whether adults with ASD are able to monitor their own actions online, and whether they also show a typical enactment effects in memory (enhanced memory for actions they have performed compared to actions they have observed being performed). Individuals with ASD and comparison participants showed a similar pattern of performance on both tasks. In a task which required individuals to distinguish person-caused from computer-caused changes in phenomenology both groups found it easier to monitor their own actions compared to those of an experimenter. Both groups also showed typical enactment effects. Despite recent suggestions to the contrary, these results support suggestions that action monitoring is unimpaired in ASD.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorder Action monitoring Enactment effect Source memory Self-referencing Agency 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to sincerely thank all of the participants who took part in this study. Without their support, this research would not have been possible. The authors would also like to thank the National Autistic Society and Durham University Service for Students with Disabilities for their assistance with participant recruitment. Many thanks also to Dr. Tiziana Zalla and Dr. Elena Daprati for providing us with additional information about their study. Finally, we would like to thank Anna Peel for her assistance with data collection. Catherine Grainger was funded by an Economic and Social Research Council doctoral studentship, and a University of Kent PhD scholarship.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine Grainger
    • 1
  • David M. Williams
    • 1
  • Sophie E. Lind
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Psychology, Keynes CollegeUniversity of KentCanterburyUK
  2. 2.Autism Research Group, Psychology Department, Social Sciences BuildingCity University LondonLondonUK

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