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Episodic Memory and Self-Awareness in Asperger Syndrome: Analysis of Memory Narratives

Abstract : Previous findings from researchers on individuals with Asperger Syndrome (AS) suggest peculiarities of autobiographical memory (AM). They have shown a personal episodic memory deficit in the absence of a personal semantic memory impairment. The primary aim of this study was to explore AM in individuals with AS, and more specifically to investigate the link between episodic memory, self-awareness, and autonoetic consciousness through language analysis. We asked fifteen adults with AS and fifteen age- and IQ-matched controls to recall autobiographical memories from three life periods. Recorded interviews were processed using Alceste software. We found that participants with AS recalled fewer and less-detailed episodic memories than did controls. A content analysis revealed that family-related vocabulary as well as possessive pronouns was significantly less frequent in AS interviews than in those of controls. In conclusion, our results support the hypothesis that a deficiency of episodic memory may be due to poor awareness of the self in social relationships. Reduced use of possessive pronouns may also indicate less self-investment in life experiences, which would in turn impact recall.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, February 21, 2017 - 4:56:11 PM
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Valérie Chaput, Fréderique Amsellem, Isabel Urdapilleta, Pauline Chaste, Marion Leboyer, et al.. Episodic Memory and Self-Awareness in Asperger Syndrome: Analysis of Memory Narratives. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Elsevier, 2013, 7 (9), pp.1062-1067. ⟨10.1016/j.rasd.2013.05.005⟩. ⟨hal-01473273⟩



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