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J Autism Dev Disord. 2018 Sep;48(9):2912-2924. doi: 10.1007/s10803-018-3551-8.

Do Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Benefit from Structural Alignment When Constructing Categories?

Author information

1
School of Psychology, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands, B15 2TT, UK. S.O.Snape@bham.ac.uk.
2
School of Psychology, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands, B15 2TT, UK.
3
Department of Psychology and Kinney Center, Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
4
Center for Autism Research, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Abstract

Individuals with ASD seem to construct categories via processes different to typically developing individuals. We examined whether individuals with ASD engage in structural alignment of exemplars when constructing categories. We taught children with ASD and typically developing children novel nouns for either single or multiple exemplars, and then examined their extensions of the learned nouns to objects that were either a perceptual or conceptual match to the original exemplar(s). Results indicated that, unlike typically developing participants, those with ASD gained no benefit from seeing multiple exemplars of the category and, thus, did not appear to engage in structural alignment in their formation of categories. However, they demonstrated superior performance compared to typically developing children when presented with a single exemplar.

KEYWORDS:

ASD; Autism; Category learning; Language learning; Structural alignment

PMID:
29616485
DOI:
10.1007/s10803-018-3551-8

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