Rule Learning (RL) allows us to extract and generalize high-order rules from a sequence of elements. Despite the critical role of RL in the acquisition of linguistic and social abilities, no study has investigated RL processes in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Here, we investigated RL in high-functioning autistic adolescents with ASD, examining whether their ability to extract and generalize rules from a sequence of visual elements is affected by the social vs. non-social nature of the stimulus and by visual working memory (WM). Using a forced-choice paradigm, ASD adolescents and typically developing (TD) peers were tested for their ability to detect and generalize high-order, repetition-based rules from visual sequences of simple non-social stimuli (shapes), complex non-social stimuli (inverted faces), and social stimuli (upright face). Both ASD and TD adolescents were able to generalize the rule they had learned to new stimuli, and their ability was modulated by the social nature of the stimuli and the complexity of the rule. Moreover, an association between RL and WM was found in the ASD, but not TD group, suggesting that ASD might have used additional or alternative strategies that relied on visual WM resources.

Bettoni, R., Addabbo, M., Ghidina, C., Pezzana, C., Vagni, D., Turati, C., Bulf, H., Learning and generalization of repetition-based rules in autism, <<PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH>>, 2023; 87 (5): 1429-1438. [doi:10.1007/s00426-022-01761-0] [https://hdl.handle.net/10807/255001]

Learning and generalization of repetition-based rules in autism

Addabbo, Margaret;
2023

Abstract

Rule Learning (RL) allows us to extract and generalize high-order rules from a sequence of elements. Despite the critical role of RL in the acquisition of linguistic and social abilities, no study has investigated RL processes in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Here, we investigated RL in high-functioning autistic adolescents with ASD, examining whether their ability to extract and generalize rules from a sequence of visual elements is affected by the social vs. non-social nature of the stimulus and by visual working memory (WM). Using a forced-choice paradigm, ASD adolescents and typically developing (TD) peers were tested for their ability to detect and generalize high-order, repetition-based rules from visual sequences of simple non-social stimuli (shapes), complex non-social stimuli (inverted faces), and social stimuli (upright face). Both ASD and TD adolescents were able to generalize the rule they had learned to new stimuli, and their ability was modulated by the social nature of the stimuli and the complexity of the rule. Moreover, an association between RL and WM was found in the ASD, but not TD group, suggesting that ASD might have used additional or alternative strategies that relied on visual WM resources.
2023
Inglese
Bettoni, R., Addabbo, M., Ghidina, C., Pezzana, C., Vagni, D., Turati, C., Bulf, H., Learning and generalization of repetition-based rules in autism, <<PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH>>, 2023; 87 (5): 1429-1438. [doi:10.1007/s00426-022-01761-0] [https://hdl.handle.net/10807/255001]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10807/255001
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