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01-03-2013 | Original Article | Uitgave 2/2013 Open Access

Psychological Research 2/2013

Cognitive control of feature bindings: evidence from children with autistic spectrum disorder

Tijdschrift:
Psychological Research > Uitgave 2/2013
Auteurs:
Sharon Zmigrod, Leo M. J. de Sonneville, Lorenza S. Colzato, Hanna Swaab, Bernhard Hommel

Abstract

Understanding how the brain integrates features from different domains that are processed in distinct cortical regions calls for the examination of integration processes. Recent studies of feature-repetition effects demonstrated interactions across perceptual features and action-related features: repeating only some features of the perception–action episode hinders performance. These partial-repetition costs point to the existence of temporary memory traces (event files). However, the principles and the constraints that govern the management of such traces are still unclear. Here, we investigated whether children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) differ from typically developing children in managing episodic memory traces. The results show that both groups integrate stimulus features along with action features, but children with ASD exhibit larger partial-repetition costs, suggesting lesser control and flexibility in updating episodic memory traces. The findings are discussed in the light of evidence for a central role of the dopaminergic system in cognitive integration, ASD, and cognitive control.

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