ERP correlates of recognition memory in Autism Spectrum Disorder

J Autism Dev Disord. 2013 Sep;43(9):2038-47. doi: 10.1007/s10803-012-1755-x.


Recognition memory in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tends to be undiminished compared to that of typically developing (TD) individuals (Bowler et al. 2007), but it is still unknown whether memory in ASD relies on qualitatively similar or different neurophysiology. We sought to explore the neural activity underlying recognition by employing the old/new word repetition event-related potential effect. Behavioural recognition performance was comparable across both groups, and demonstrated superior recognition for low frequency over high frequency words. However, the ASD group showed a parietal rather than anterior onset (300-500 ms), and diminished right frontal old/new effects (800-1500 ms) relative to TD individuals. This study shows that undiminished recognition performance results from a pattern of differing functional neurophysiology in ASD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / physiopathology*
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / psychology
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Recognition, Psychology / physiology*