Investigating multitasking in high-functioning adolescents with autism spectrum disorders using the Virtual Errands Task

Gnanathusharan Rajendran, Anna S. Law, Robert H. Logie, Marian van der Meulen, Diane Fraser, Martin Corley

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19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using a modified version of the Virtual Errands Task (VET; McGeorge et al. in Presence-Teleop Virtual Environ 10(4):375-383, 2001), we investigated the executive ability of multitasking in 18 high-functioning adolescents with ASD and 18 typically developing adolescents. The VET requires multitasking (Law et al. in Acta Psychol 122(1):27-44, 2006) because there is a limited amount of time in which to complete the errands. ANCOVA revealed that the ASD group completed fewer tasks, broke more rules and rigidly followed the task list in the order of presentation. Our findings suggest that executive problems of planning inflexibility, inhibition, as well as difficulties with prospective memory (remembering to carry out intentions) may lie behind multitasking difficulties in ASD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1445-1454
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume41
Issue number11
Early online date23 Dec 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • autism
  • virtual environment
  • executive functions
  • multitasking
  • ASD

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