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Verbal thinking and inner speech use in autism spectrum disorder

Williams, David M., Peng, Cynthia, Wallace, Gregory L. (2016) Verbal thinking and inner speech use in autism spectrum disorder. Neuropsychology Review, 26 (4). pp. 394-419. ISSN 1040-7308. E-ISSN 1573-6660. (doi:10.1007/s11065-016-9328-y) (KAR id:58768)

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The extent to which cognition is verbally mediated in neurotypical individuals is the subject of debate in cognitive neuropsychology, as well as philosophy and psychology. Studying “verbal thinking” in developmental/neuropsychological disorders provides a valuable opportunity to inform theory building, as well as clinical practice. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive, critical review of such studies among individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD involves severe social-communication deficits and limitations in cognitive/behavioural flexibility. The prevailing view in the field is that neither cognition nor behaviour is mediated verbally in ASD, and that this contributes to diagnostic features. However, our review suggests that, on the contrary, most studies to date actually find that among people with ASD cognitive task performance is either a) mediated verbally in a typical fashion, or b) not mediated verbally, but at no obvious cost to overall task performance. Overall though, these studies have methodological limitations and thus clear-cut conclusions are not possible at this stage. The aim of the review is to take stock of existing empirical findings, as well as to help develop the directions for future research that will resolve the many outstanding issues in this field.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s11065-016-9328-y
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: David Williams
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2016 08:56 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:39 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Williams, David M.:

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