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Developmental trends of hot and cool executive function in school aged children with and without autism spectrum disorder: links with theory of mind

Developmental trends of hot and cool executive function in school aged children with and without autism spectrum disorder: links with theory of mind

Kouklari, Evangelia-Chrysanthi, Tsermentseli, Stella and Monks, Claire P. (2018) Developmental trends of hot and cool executive function in school aged children with and without autism spectrum disorder: links with theory of mind. Development and Psychopathology. ISSN 0954-5794 (Print), 1469-2198 (Online) (In Press) (doi:10.1017/S0954579418000081)

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Abstract

The development of executive function (EF) in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been investigated using only “cool”-cognitive- EF tasks while there is limited knowledge regarding the development of “hot”-affective- EF. Although cool EF development and its links to theory of mind (ToM) have been widely examined, understanding of the influence of hot EF to ToM mechanisms is minimal. The present study introduced a longitudinal design to examine the developmental changes in cool and hot EF of children with ASD (n=45) and matched (to age and IQ) controls (n=37) as well as the impact of EF on ToM development over a school year. For children with ASD, although selective cool (working memory, inhibition) and hot (affective decision making) EF domains presented age-related improvements, they never reached the performance level of the control group. Early cool working memory predicted later ToM in both groups but early hot delay discounting predicted later ToM only in the ASD group. No evidence was found for the reverse pattern (early ToM predicting later EF). These findings suggest that improvements in some EF aspects are evident in school age in ASD and highlight the crucial role both cool and hot EF play in ToM development.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This research was funded by a Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship (University of Greenwich).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Autism; executive function; theory of mind
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education & Health
Faculty of Education & Health > Applied Psychology Research Group
Faculty of Education & Health > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2018 21:55
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: GREAT b
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/18572

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