Working memory functions in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A reviewJournal: Klinik Psikoloji Dergisi (Vol.5, No. 2)
Publication Date: 2021-08-22
Authors : Elçin Çağlar Hande Kaynak;
Page : 202-212
Keywords : Autism Spectrum Disorder; working memory; executive functions; neurodevelopmental disorder;
Autism spectrum disorder, one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders, is a lifelong condition, especially with difficulties in social communication, limited interest, and repetitive behavior. Working memory, as a basic executive function, is a cognitive process also associated with impulse control, inhibition, organization, mental flexibility, focusing on one's attention, planning, responding to new situations, initiating and monitoring actions, problem solving, and goal-directed behaviors. Studies suggest that working memory impairments are associated with repetitive behaviors, and the risk for academic failure observed in autism spectrum disorder, and other neurodevelopmental disorders. From this point of view, working memory deficits are often found in neurodevelopmental disorders, especially in autism spectrum disorder. In the current study, following an introduction to autism and working memory, working memory functions associated with autism spectrum disorder were reviewed in detail. In this context, brain imaging studies highlighting the importance of frontal lobe functions, links between repetitive behaviors and working memory, and age differences in working memory functions were summarized. Next, working memory deficits in other neurodevelopmental disorders, such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and pervasive developmental disorder were discussed in comparison with autism. Finally, the conclusion part of the current review tried to provide a contribution to future studies.
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