Date of Degree

9-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Psychology

Advisor(s)

Jin Fan

Committee Members

Jeffrey Halperin

Justin Storbeck

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology | Cognitive Psychology | Developmental Psychology

Keywords

autism spectrum disorder, autism, cognitive control, affective control

Abstract

Cognitive control constrains mental operations to prioritize information that reaches conscious awareness and is essential to flexible, adaptive behavior under conditions of uncertainty. However, cognitive control can be compromised by neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which is characterized by the presence of social and communicative deficits, and restricted interests/repetitive behaviors. Although prior investigations have attempted to elucidate the nature of cognitive control deficits in ASD, whether there is an underlying deficit in cognitive and affective control associated with the symptom domains of ASD remains unclear. The present series of eight experiments presents an information theoretic framework for the study of cognitive control in high-functioning adults with ASD, and aims to investigate deficits in cognitive and affective control under conditions of uncertainty, and the relation of these deficits to ASD symptoms, to better understand the nature of symptoms and cognitive deficits in ASD.

 
 

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