The association between sequence learning on the Serial Reaction Time task and social impairments in autism
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Key wordsimplicit learning; Serial Reaction Time task; autism; skill learning
[copy abstract Zwart, Vissers, & Maes, 2018, Journal for Autism and Developmental Disorders]It is assumed that learning on the Serial Reaction Time (SRT) task is related to learning involved in social skill development affected in autism, but this assumption has hardly been investigated. We have therefore examined associations between SRT task learning and social impairment measured by the Social Responsiveness Scale in 72 autistic and non-autistic adults. Results revealed a positive correlation between deterministic sequence learning, putatively involving explicit learning, and social impairment in autistic adults but not in non-autistic adults. No correlations with probabilistic learning were found. These results suggest that the type of learning that helps autistic adults during deterministic SRT task hinders them during social development, and call for further investigating the ecological validity of the SRT task.