Memory and the self in autism: A review and theoretical framework

Author: Lind, S.E. Description: This article reviews research on (a) autobiographical episodic and semantic memory, (b) the self-reference effect, (c) memory for the actions of self versus other (the self-enactment effect), and (d) non-autobiographical episodic memory in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and provides a theoretical framework to account for the bidirectional relationship between memory and the self in ASD. It is argued that individuals with ASD have diminished psychological self-knowledge (as a consequence of diagnostic social and communication impairments), alongside intact physical self-knowledge, resulting in an under-elaborated self-concept. Consequently, individuals…

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Memory functioning in children and adolescents with autism

Author: Southwick, J.S.; Bigler, E.D.; Froehlich, A.; Dubray, M.B.; Alexander, A.L.; Lange, N.; Lainhart, J.E. Description: OBJECTIVE: Memory functioning in children and adolescents ages 5-19 with autism (n = 50) and typically developing controls (n = 36) was assessed using a clinical assessment battery, the Test of Memory and Learning (TOMAL). METHOD: Participant groups were statistically comparable in age, nonverbal IQ, handedness, and head circumference, and were administered the TOMAL. RESULTS: Test performance on the TOMAL demonstrated broad differences in memory functioning in the autism group, across multiple task formats,…

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Memory and fitness optimization of bacteria under fluctuating environments

Author: Lambert, G.; Kussell, E. Description: Bacteria prudently regulate their metabolic phenotypes by sensing the availability of specific nutrients, expressing the required genes for their metabolism, and repressing them after specific metabolites are depleted. It is unclear, however, how genetic networks maintain and transmit phenotypic states between generations under rapidly fluctuating environments. By subjecting bacteria to fluctuating carbon sources (glucose and lactose) using microfluidics, we discover two types of non-genetic memory in Escherichia coli and analyze their benefits. First, phenotypic memory conferred by transmission of stable intracellular lac proteins dramatically…

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The neurobiology of emotionally influenced memory. Implications for understanding traumatic memory

Author: Cahill, L. Description: Substantial evidence from animal and human subject studies converges on the view that memory for emotionally arousing events is modulated by an endogenous memory-modulating system consisting, at minimum, of stress hormones and the amygdaloid complex. Within the normal range of emotions experienced, this system is viewed as an evolutionarily adaptive method of creating memory strength that is, in general, proportional to memory importance. In conditions of extreme emotional stress, the operation of this normally adaptive system may underly the formation of strong, “intrusive” memories characteristic of…

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The profile of memory function in children with autism

Author: Williams, D.L.; Goldstein, G.; Minshew, N.J. Description: A clinical memory test was administered to 38 high-functioning children with autism and 38 individually matched normal controls, 8-16 years of age. The resulting profile of memory abilities in the children with autism was characterized by relatively poor memory for complex visual and verbal information and spatial working memory with relatively intact associative learning ability, verbal working memory, and recognition memory. A stepwise discriminant function analysis of the subtests found that the Finger Windows subtest, a measure of spatial working memory, discriminated…

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Intact and impaired memory functions in autism

Author: Bennetto, L.; Pennington, B.F.; Rogers, S.J. Description: This study examined memory functions in individuals with autism. Based on previous evidence of executive function (EF) deficits, we hypothesized that subjects with autism would demonstrate a pattern of intact and impaired memory functions similar to that found in other groups with EF deficits, such as patients with frontal lobe pathology. We compared the performance of high-functioning children and adolescents with autism (n = 19) and clinical comparison subjects (n = 19) matched on sex, CA, and VIQ on measures of memory…

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Meditation and Music Improve Memory and Cognitive Function in Adults with Subjective Cognitive Decline: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Author: Innes, Kim E.; Selfe, Terry Kit; Khalsa, Dharma Singh; Kandati, Sahiti Description: BACKGROUND: While effective therapies for preventing or slowing cognitive decline in at-risk populations remain elusive, evidence suggests mind-body interventions may hold promise. OBJECTIVES: In this study, we assessed the effects of Kirtan Kriya meditation (KK) and music listening (ML) on cognitive outcomes in adults experiencing subjective cognitive decline (SCD), a strong predictor of Alzheimer’s disease. METHODS: Sixty participants with SCD were randomized to a KK or ML program and asked to practice 12 minutes/day for 3 months,…

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Effects of leptin on memory processing

Author: Farr, S.A.; Banks, W.A.; Morley, J.E. Description: Leptin is a peptide hormone secreted by adipose tissue. Studies have shown that leptin crosses the blood-brain barrier (BBB) by a saturable transport system where it acts within the hypothalamus to regulate food intake and energy expenditure. Leptin also acts in the hippocampus where it facilitates the induction of long-term potentiation and enhances NMDA receptor-mediated transmission. This suggests that leptin plays a role in learning and memory. Obese mice and rats, which have leptin receptor deficiency, have impaired spatial learning. In disease…

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Comparison of memory fMRI response among normal, MCI, and Alzheimer’s patients

Author: Machulda, M.M.; Ward, H.A.; Borowski, B.; Gunter, J.L.; Cha, R.H.; O’Brien, P.C.; Petersen, R.C.; Boeve, B.F.; Knopman, D.; Tang-Wai, D.F.; Ivnik, R.J.; Smith, G.E.; Tangalos, E.G.; Jack, C.R.J. Description: OBJECTIVE: To determine whether an fMRI memory encoding task distinguishes among cognitively normal elderly individuals, patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and patients with early Alzheimer’s disease (AD). METHODS: Twenty-nine subjects (11 normal, 9 MCI, 9 AD) were studied with an fMRI memory encoding task. A passive sensory task was also performed to assess potential intergroup differences in fMRI responsiveness….

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Visual short-term memory compared in rhesus monkeys and humans

Author: Elmore, L.C.; Ma, W.J.; Magnotti, J.F.; Leising, K.J.; Passaro, A.D.; Katz, J.S.; Wright, A.A. Description: Change detection is a popular task to study visual short-term memory (STM) in humans. Much of this work suggests that STM has a fixed capacity of 4 +/- 1 items. Here we report the first comparison of change-detection memory between humans and a species closely related to humans, the rhesus monkey. Monkeys and humans were tested in nearly identical procedures with overlapping display sizes. Although the monkeys’ STM was well fit by a one-item…

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