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ERIC Number: EJ812914
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9630
Intact Inner Speech Use in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence from a Short-Term Memory Task
Williams, David; Happe, Francesca; Jarrold, Christopher
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, v49 n1 p51-58 Jan 2008
Background: Inner speech has been linked to higher-order cognitive processes including "theory of mind", self-awareness and executive functioning, all of which are impaired in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Individuals with ASD, themselves, report a propensity for visual rather than verbal modes of thinking. This study explored the extent to which children with ASD used inner speech or visual imagery to support recall from short-term memory. Method: Twenty-five children with ASD and 20 comparison children with moderate learning disabilities completed an immediate serial recall task, in which stimuli consisted of items with either phonologically similar features, visuo-spatially similar features or control items which were neither visuo-spatially nor phonologically similar. Results: ASD and comparison participants, with verbal mental ages above 7 years, recalled phonologically similar stimuli less well than control stimuli, indicating that both groups were using inner speech to recode visually presented information into a phonological code. In contrast, those participants with verbal mental ages below 7 years, whether with ASD or not, recalled visuo-spatially similar stimuli less well than control stimuli, indicating visual rather than phonological coding. This developmental pattern mirrors that found in typically developing children. Conclusions: Under experimental conditions, individuals with ASD use inner speech to the same extent as individuals without ASD of a comparable mental age.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A