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Repetition suppression and memory for faces is reduced in adults with autism spectrum conditions

Ewbank, Michael P., Pell, Philip J., Powell, Thomas E., Von dem Hagen, Elisabeth A. H. ORCID:, Baron-Cohen, Simon and Calder, Andrew J. 2017. Repetition suppression and memory for faces is reduced in adults with autism spectrum conditions. Cerebral Cortex 27 (1) , pp. 92-103. 10.1093/cercor/bhw373

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Autism spectrum conditions (ASC) are associated with a number of atypicalities in face processing, including difficulties in face memory. However, the neural mechanisms underlying this difficulty are unclear. In neurotypical individuals, repeated presentation of the same face is associated with a reduction in activity, known as repetition suppression (RS), in the fusiform face area (FFA). However, to date, no studies have investigated RS to faces in individuals with ASC, or the relationship between RS and face memory. Here, we measured RS to faces and geometric shapes in individuals with a clinical diagnosis of an ASC and in age and IQ matched controls. Relative to controls, the ASC group showed reduced RS to faces in bilateral FFA and reduced performance on a standardized test of face memory. By contrast, RS to shapes in object-selective regions and object memory did not differ between groups. Individual variation in face memory performance was positively correlated with RS in regions of left parietal and prefrontal cortex. These findings suggest difficulties in face memory in ASC may be a consequence of differences in the way faces are stored and/or maintained across a network of regions involved in both visual perception and shortterm/ working memory.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Autism; face-memory; fusiform; objects; fMRI-adaptation;
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY license.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 1047-3211
Funders: MRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 November 2016
Date of Acceptance: 4 November 2016
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2022 09:38

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