Journal Article Inflexible daily behaviour is associated with the ability to control an automatic reaction in autism spectrum disorder.

Tei, Shisei  ,  Fujino, Junya  ,  Ryu-ichiro, Hashimoto  ,  Itahashi, Takashi  ,  Ohta, Haruhisa  ,  Kanai, Chieko  ,  Kubota, Manabu  ,  Nakamura, Motoaki  ,  Kato, Nobumasa  ,  Takahashi, Hidehiko

8 ( 1 )  , p.8082 , 2018-05
ISSN:2045-2322
Description
Inflexible behaviours in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) broadly obstruct social communication. Meanwhile, flexibility implicates cognitive control to resolve socially conflicting situations; however, it remains unclear how people with ASD behave in the face of these conflicts in this respect. We used the ultimatum game (UG) and the implicit-association test (IAT) to examine goal-directed/economic flexibility, both of which involve conflict and cognitive control. In addition, we used the Detail and Flexibility Questionnaire (DFlex) to measure inflexible everyday behaviour with diminished cognitive control and attention shifting. We observed the decreased flexibility in participants with ASD (DFlex and IAT); further, their IAT scores positively correlated with DFlex. However, in the UG, contrary to our prediction, participants with ASD accepted unfair offers more frequently than TD. These results suggest that assessing the automatic/attention processing level with the IAT could be a useful approach to study behavioural flexibility among ASD compared with the UG, which might comprise multiple response strategies besides economic rationality. Overall, the severity of inflexible daily behaviours in people with ASD may be associated with a reduced flexible attitude at an automatic level, altered attention processing and decreased cognitive control

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