Did you hear? Auditory prospective memory cues are more beneficial for autistic than for non-autistic children and adolescents
SourceResearch in Developmental Disabilities, 115, (2021), article 104001
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC NRP
Research in Developmental Disabilities
SubjectNeuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology; Neuro- en revalidatiepsychologie
Background: The transition from primary to secondary school is particularly difficult for autistic children, a transition underpinned by an increase in prospective memory (PM) demands. Aims: To better understand PM in autistic children of the relevant age range and its underlying processes, the current study investigated the impact of cue salience (distinctiveness) on PM in autistic and non-autistic children and adolescents. The study was unique in manipulating the visual and auditory salience of PM cues. Salient cues are assumed to put lower demands on executive control resources as compared to cues that blend in with the ongoing activity. Methods and procedures: The children completed a computer-based categorisation task in which an event-based PM task was embedded. The salience of PM cues was manipulated (low, high visual and high auditory salience). Outcomes and results: Results revealed that both groups benefitted from an increase in visual and auditory salience, but only autistic participants were faster to respond to auditory cues. Conclusions and implications: Increased cue salience improved PM performance for all children. Positive effects of auditory cues were especially evident in autistic children.
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