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The present study examined whether individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are able to update and monitor working memory representations of visual input, and whether performance is influenced by stimulus and task complexity. 15 high-functioning adults with ASD and 15 controls were asked to allocate either elements of abstract figures or semantically meaningful pictures to the correct category, according to a certain set of rules. In general, the groups did not differ on measures of intelligence, working memory, attention, fluency and memory. For the monitoring of allocation of abstract figures, a similar pattern of reaction times was found for ASD and control participants. For the monitoring of allocation of semantically meaningful pictures, a different response pattern was found, with a stronger increase in response times for the ASD than for the control group when the number of categories increased. This suggests that participants with ASD are able to monitor working memory representations, but suffer under more complex circumstances.
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- How Stimulus and Task Complexity Affect Monitoring in High-Functioning Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Constance Th. W. M. Vissers
Jos I. M. Egger
- Springer US