ICNC Abstracts, ICNC 2018

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Comparison of Executive Function between children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Typically Developing Children: a Cross-sectional study
Ratna Sharma, Asfa Ahmad, Shobha Sharma, Prateek Kumar Panda, Aparajita Gupta, Rupesh Samanchi, Sana Sayeed, Prashant Jauhari, Biswaroop Chakrabarty, Sheffali Gulati

Last modified: 2018-09-09



Impairment in two important domains of executive function namely working memory (WM) and attention in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) lead to development of core behavioral symptoms such as impaired social interaction/communication and restricted repetitive behavior.


WM and attention in 25 ASD childrenwas compared to age and sex matched typically developing(TD) children. Picture memory (PM) task and Digit span forward test (DSFT) wereused to assess working memory and to assess attention respectively.

In PM task, 10 common pictures were consecutively shown on a screen, each for 2 seconds and children were asked to read them aloud. They were instructed to recall as many pictures as they could remember after 15 seconds. It was repeated three times using the same 10pictures. Total number of pictures correctly remembered were noted as PM score (maximum 30).

In DSFT, children are made to hear a sequence of numerical digits (one number at a second) and asked to repeat the sequence correctly and immediately, with increasingly longer sequences being tested in each trial. Total score is longest number of sequential digits that can be accurately repeated,ranging from 0-9.


In ASD subjects (17 boys, 8 girls, 6.3±2.4 years, CARS 35.4±3.9), 17 and 25 children could perform PM task and DSFT respectively. Scores for PM task

(ASD:12.47±7.046;TD:20.36±4.982;P<0.0001) and DSFT (ASD:12.81±3.868;TD:20.38±3.869;P<0.0001) were significantly lower in children with ASD compared to TD children, suggesting reduced performance.


ASD children have lower working memory and attention than typically developing children.


Executive function, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Hyperactivity

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