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ERIC Number: EJ953855
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
ISSN: ISSN-1362-3613
Cerebellar Dysfunction, Cognitive Flexibility and Autistic Traits in a Non-Clinical Sample
Ridley, Nicole J.; Homewood, Judi; Walters, Jenny
Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, v15 n6 p728-745 Nov 2011
Cerebellar dysfunction and impaired cognitive flexibility are key features of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, despite the increasing interest in subclinical autism, no research has yet examined the relationship between these signs and autistic traits in the wider population. This study used the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) questionnaire to assess autistic traits in university students enrolled in either systems-oriented or humanities degree programmes. Participants also completed a battery of motor tasks designed to assess cerebellar function, and subscales from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) battery. Students enrolled in systems-oriented degrees had on average higher AQ scores than students enrolled in humanities degrees. The data showed a significant correlation between autistic traits and motor function scores, as well as between autistic traits and verbal set-shifting ability, as assessed on the D-KEFS. These data provide support for the autistic spectrum hypothesis, in indicating that key cognitive, neurological and behavioural features of autism carry over into non-clinical populations. (Contains 3 tables and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale