A lack of self-consciousness in autism

Motomi Toichi, Yoko Kamio, Takashi Okada, Morimitsu Sakihama, Eric A. Youngstrom, Robert L. Findling, Kokichi Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study investigated self-consciousness in autism. Method: An incidental memory task was conducted on 18 adults with high-functioning autism and 18 normal comparison subjects. Three kinds of orienting questions (phonological, semantic, and self-referent, i.e., "Does the word describe you?") were asked about target words (adjectives for personality traits) in order to induce different types of processing. This was followed by an unexpected recognition test. Results: While semantic processing resulted in better memory than phonological processing in both groups, self-referent processingyielded better memory performance than semantic processing in the comparison group but not in the autistic group. Conclusions: The results suggest deficits in self-consciousness in individuals with autism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1422-1424
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 12 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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