Prospective memory in adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders: Exploring effects of implementation intentions and retrospective memory load
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This study examined, for the first time, the impact of implementation intentions on prospective memory (PM) performance in adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and further explored the role of retrospective memory for PM in ASD. PM was assessed with Virtual Week, a computerized game simulating upcoming everyday-life tasks. Twenty-seven adults with ASD and 27 age- and ability-matched controls were included. Half of the participants were instructed to form implementation intentions (i.e., encoding PM tasks in form of if-then statements), while the rest received simple PM instructions. Results provide first tentative evidence for beneficial effects of implementation intentions and PM tasks with low demands on retrospective memory for adults with ASD's PM. Overall, results point to the importance of planning and retrospecti ve memory for successful prospective remembering in ASD.
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