Advertisement

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 7, pp 1555–1567 | Cite as

Time-Based and Event-Based Prospective Memory in Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Roles of Executive Function and Theory of Mind, and Time-Estimation

  • David Williams
  • Jill Boucher
  • Sophie Lind
  • Christopher Jarrold
Original Paper

Abstract

Prospective memory (remembering to carry out an action in the future) has been studied relatively little in ASD. We explored time-based (carry out an action at a pre-specified time) and event-based (carry out an action upon the occurrence of a pre-specified event) prospective memory, as well as possible cognitive correlates, among 21 intellectually high-functioning children with ASD, and 21 age- and IQ-matched neurotypical comparison children. We found impaired time-based, but undiminished event-based, prospective memory among children with ASD. In the ASD group, time-based prospective memory performance was associated significantly with diminished theory of mind, but not with diminished cognitive flexibility. There was no evidence that time-estimation ability contributed to time-based prospective memory impairment in ASD.

Keywords

Autism Prospective memory Theory of mind Executive functioning Cognitive flexibility Set-shifting Time-perception 

Abbreviation

PM

Prospective memory

Notes

Acknowledgments

The study was funded by an Economic and Social Research Council UK Grant awarded to Dr Williams, and Professors Jarrold and Boucher (Number: RES-000-22-4125). Sophie Lind was supported by an Economic and Social Research Council (UK) Research Grant (RES-062-23-2192) during this study. Sincere thanks to all of the participants who took part in this study and to their parents/guardians. Without their support, this research would not be possible. Thanks to Miss Heather Payne and Miss Catherine Grainger for support with data collection. Many thanks, also, to Dr Catherine Jones, Dr Mareike Altgassen, and Dr Maria Brandimonte for very helpfully answering queries about their respective studies.

References

  1. Abell, F., Happe, F., & Frith, U. (2000). Do triangles play tricks? Attribution of mental states to animated shapes in normal and abnormal development. Cognitive Development, 15(1), 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allman, M., & DeLeon, I. (2011). No time like the present: Time perception in autism. In A. Giordana & V. Lombardi (Eds.), Causes and risks for autism (pp. 65–76). Place: Nova Science Publisher.Google Scholar
  3. Altgassen, M., Koban, N., & Kliegel, M. (2012). Do adults with autism spectrum disorders compensate in naturalistic prospective memory tasks? Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42(10), 2141–2151.Google Scholar
  4. Altgassen, M., Schmitz-Huebsch, M., & Kliegel, M. (2010). Event-based prospective memory performance in autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 2(1), 2–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Altgassen, M., Williams, T. I., Bölte, S., & Kliegel, M. (2009). Time-based prospective memory in children with autism spectrum disorder. Brain Impairment, 10, 52–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th edition, text revised) (DSM-IV-TR). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ben-Shalom, D. (2003). Memory in autism: Review and synthesis. Cortex, 39, 1129–1138.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Berg, E. A. (1948). A simple objective technique for measuring flexibility in thinking. Journal of General Psychology, 39(1), 15–22.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Boucher, J. (2001). Lost in a sea of time: Time-parsing and autism. In C. Hoerl & T. McCormack (Eds.), Time and memory (pp. 111–135). Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  10. Boucher, J., Mayes, A., & Bigham, S. (2012). Memory in autistic spectrum disorder. Psychological Bulletin, 138, 458–496.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bowler, D. M., Gardiner, J. M., & Berthollier, N. (2004). Source memory in adolescents and adults with Asperger’s syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34(5), 533–542.Google Scholar
  12. Brandimonte, M. A., Filippello, P., Coluccia, E., Altgassen, M., & Kliegel, M. (2011). To do or not to do? Prospective memory versus response inhibition in autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Memory, 19(1), 56–66.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cianchetti, C., Corona, S., Foscoliano, M., Contu, D., & Sannio-Fancello, G. (2007). Modified Wisconsin card sorting test: Normative data in children 4–13 years old, according to classical and new types of scoring. Clinical Neuropsychologist, 21(3), 456–478.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Constantino, J. N., Davis, S. A., Todd, R. D., Schindler, M. K., Gross, M. M., Brophy, S. L., et al. (2003). Validation of a brief quantitative measure of autistic traits: Comparison of the social responsiveness scale with the autism diagnostic interview-revised. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 33(4), 427–433.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Crane, L., Lind, S. E. & Bowler, D. M. (2012). Remembering the past and imagining the future in autism spectrum disorder, Memory. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2012.712976.
  16. den Ouden, H. E. M., Frith, U., Frith, C., & Blakemore, S. J. (2005). Thinking about intentions. Neuroimage, 28, 787–796.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Einstein, G. O., & McDaniel, M. A. (1990). Normal aging and prospective memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology-Learning Memory and Cognition, 16, 717–726.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Einstein, G. O., Richardson, S. L., Guynn, M. J., Cunfer, A. R., & McDaniel, M. A. (1995). Aging and prospective memory: Examining the influences of self-initiated retrieval-processes. Journal of Experimental Psychology-Learning Memory and Cognition, 21, 996–1007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ford, R. M., Driscoll, T., Shum, D., & Macaulay, C. E. (2012). Executive and theory-of-mind contributions to event-based prospective memory in children: Exploring the self-projection hypothesis. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 111(3), 468–489.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Harris, J. E., & Wilkins, A. J. (1982). Remembering to do things: A theoretical framework and an illustrative experiment. Human Learning, 1, 123–136.Google Scholar
  21. Heider, F., & Simmel, M. (1944). An experimental study of apparent behavior. American Journal of Psychology, 57, 243–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Henry, J. D., MacLeod, M. S., Phillips, L. H., & Crawford, J. R. (2004). A meta-analytic review of prospective memory and aging. Psychology and Aging, 19, 27–39.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hill, E. L. (2004). Evaluating the theory of executive dysfunction in autism. Developmental Review, 24, 189–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jones, C. R. G., Happé, F., Pickles, A., Marsden, A. J. S., Tregay, J., Baird, G., et al. (2011). ‘Everyday memory’ impairments in autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41, 455–464.Google Scholar
  25. Kenworthy, L., Yerys, B. E., Anthony, L. G., & Wallace, G. L. (2008). Understanding executive control in autism spectrum disorders in the lab and in the real world. Neuropsychology Review, 18(4), 320–338.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kerns, K. A. (2000). The CyberCruiser: An investigation of development of prospective memory in children. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 6, 62–70.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kliegel, M., McDaniel, M. A., & Einstein, G. O. (2008). Prospective memory: Cognitive, neuroscience, developmental, and applied perspectives. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  28. Landis, J. R., & Koch, G. G. (1977). Measurement of observer agreement for categorical data. Biometrics, 33(1), 159–174.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lind, S. E. (2010). Memory and the self in autism: A review and theoretical framework. Autism, 14, 430–456.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lind, S. E., & Bowler, D. M. (2010). Episodic memory and episodic future thinking in adults with autism. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 119(4), 896–905.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mackinlay, R., Charman, T., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2006). High functioning children with autism spectrum disorder: a novel test of multitasking. Brain and Cognition, 61, 14–24.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Maister, L., & Plaisted-Grant, K. (2011). Time perception and its relationship to memory in Autism Spectrum Conditions. Developmental Science, 14, 1311–1322. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2011.01077.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Marsh, R. L., & Hicks, J. L. (1998). Event-based prospective memory and executive control of working memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 24, 336–349.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Martin, M., Kliegel, M., & McDaniel, M. A. (2003). The involvement of executive functions in prospective memory performance of adults. International Journal of Psychology, 38, 195–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Martin, J. S., Poirier, M., & Bowler, D. (2010). Brief Report: Impaired temporal reproduction performance in adults with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40, 640–646. doi: 10.1007/s10803-009-0904-3.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. McCartney, M., Burchinal, M. R., & Bub, K. L. (2006). Best practices for Quantitative methods for developmentalists. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 71, 1–145.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Miyake, A., Friedman, N. P., Emerson, M. J., Witzki, A. H., Howerter, A., & Wager, T. D. (2000). The unity and diversity of executive functions and their contributions to complex “frontal lobe” tasks: A latent variable analysis. Cognitive Psychology, 41(1), 49–100.Google Scholar
  38. Mervis, C. B., & Klein-Tasman, B. P. (2004). Methodological issues in group-matching designs: Alpha levels for control variable comparisons and measurement characteristics of control and target variables. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34(1), 7–17.Google Scholar
  39. Nelson, H. E. (1976). A modified card sorting test sensitive to frontal lobe defects. Cortex, 12, 313–324.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Obonsawin, M. C., Crawford, J. R., Page, J., Chalmers, P., Cochrane, R., & Low, G. (2002). Performance on tests of frontal lobe function reflect general intellectual ability. Neuropsychologia, 40(7), 970–977.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Ozonoff, S., & Strayer, D. L. (1997). Inhibitory function in nonretarded children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 27, 59–77.Google Scholar
  42. Passler, M. A., Isaac, W., & Hynd, G. W. (1985). Neuropsychological development of behavior attributed to frontal lobe functioning in children. Developmental Neuropsychology, 1, 349–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Raz, N. (2000). Ageing of the brain and its impact on cognitive performance: Integration of structural and functional findings. In F. I. M. Craik & T. A. Salthouse (Eds.), The handbook of ageing and cognition (2nd edition) (pp. 1–90). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  44. Skuse, D., Warrington, R., Bishop, D., Chowdhury, U., Lau, J., Mandy, W., et al. (2004). The developmental, dimensional and diagnostic interview (3di): A novel computerized assessment for autism spectrum disorders. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 43(5), 548–558.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Szelag, E., Kowalska, J., Galkowski, T., & Poppel, E. (2004). Temporal processing deficits in children with high-functioning autism. British Journal of Psychology, 95, 269–282.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Ward, H., Shum, D., McKinlay, L., Baker-Tweney, S., & Wallace, G. (2005). Development of prospective memory: Tasks based on the prefrontal-lobe model. Child Neuropsychology, 11, 527–549.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Williams, D. (2010). Theory of own mind in autism: Evidence of a specific deficit in self-awareness? Autism, 14, 474–494.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Williams, D. M., Bowler, D. M., & Jarrold, C. (2012). Inner speech is used to mediate short-term memory, but not planning, among intellectually high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disorder. Development and Psychopathology, 24, 225–239.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Williams, D., & Happé, F. (2009). ‘What did I say?’ versus ‘What did I think?’: Attributing false beliefs to self amongst children with and without autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39, 865–873.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Williams, D., & Happé, F. (2010a). Recognising social and non-social emotions in self and others: A study of autism. Autism, 14, 285–304.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Williams, D., & Happé, F. (2010b). Representing intentions in self and other: Studies of autism and typical development. Developmental Science, 13, 307–319.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Wilson, B. A. C., & Baddeley, A. D. (1991). The Rivermead behavioural memory test (2nd ed.). Bury St Edmunds, UK: Thames Valley Test Company.Google Scholar
  53. World Health Organisation. (1993). International classification of mental and behavioural disorders: Clinical descriptions and diagnostic guidelines (10th ed.). Geneva, Switzerland: World Heath Organisation.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Williams
    • 1
  • Jill Boucher
    • 2
  • Sophie Lind
    • 1
  • Christopher Jarrold
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyDurham UniversityDurhamUK
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyCity University LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.School of Experimental PsychologyUniversity of BristolBristolUK

Personalised recommendations