ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (7): 1050-1064.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.01050

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Visual-spatial working memory deficits and neural mechanism in autism spectrum disorder

LI Songze1; HU Jinsheng1; LI Chengshi1; WANG Qi1; LIU Shuqing2; KANG Xiaodong3; CUI Li4   

  1. (1 Department of Psychology, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian 116029, China) (2 College of Basic Medical Sciences, Dalian Medical University, Dalian 116044, China) (3 Sichuan 81 Rehabilitation Center, Chengdu 611100, China) (4 Dalian Little Dolphin Autism Care Center, Dalian 116000, China)
  • Received:2016-02-03 Online:2016-07-15 Published:2016-07-15
  • Contact: HU Jinsheng, E-mail:


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is confirmed to be impaired in visual-spatial working memory, mainly characterized by effects of cognitive load and capacity limitation. Recently, the functions of attention and central coherence in ASD through visual-spatial working memory performance started to be concerned. Neuroimaging studies have showed functional and structural brain abnormalities in frontoparietal working memory networks in ASD, which are generally linked to frontal-lobe dysfunction. In addition, studies also involved in relations between visual-spatial working memory and other cognitive processes, such as verbal working memory, executive functions and social cognition. From wide view of previous researches, future studies should put ecological validity of experimental tasks on the important status, take full advantage of neuroimaging techniques and longitudinal studies, further reveal the mechanism separation of object and spatial working memory in ASD, and devote to develop an effective intervention training mode.

Key words: autism spectrum disorder, visual-spatial working memory, cognitive processing, brain function, brain structure