Central coherence and cognitive shifting in relation to social improvement in high-functioning young adults with autism.
SourceNeuropsychology, Development, and Cognition. Section A, Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 25, 4, (2003), pp. 502-11
Article / Letter to the editor
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Neuropsychology, Development, and Cognition. Section A, Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
SubjectEBP 1: Determinants of Health and Disease; UMCN 3.2: Cognitive neurosciences; EBP 1: Determinants of Health and Disease
The objective of this prospective study was to evaluate the possible role of two cognitive styles--weak central coherence and poor cognitive shifting--in predicting social improvement in patients with autistic disorder. Thirty patients, largely similar in age (young adults), intelligence (high-functioning) and living conditions (residential treatment in the same unit) were assessed at two separate time points with a 3-year interval between pretest and posttest. At pretest central coherence, cognitive shifting and several aspects of social functioning--symptom severity, social intelligence and social competence--were measured. At posttest social functioning was reassessed. Unlike central coherence, cognitive shifting was identified as a significant prognostic marker. This differential outcome might be an indication that patients with poor cognitive shifting and patients with weak central coherence have different prognoses with the current, highly structured treatment milieu; it is unknown whether patients with poor cognitive flexibility might benefit more from treatments specifically designed to address this problem.
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