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Associations Between Interoceptive Cognition and Age in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Typical Development

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Interoceptive awareness is linked to emotional and social cognition, which are impaired in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is unknown how this ability is associated with age in either typical or atypical development. We used a standard test of interoceptive accuracy (IA) to investigate these questions in children and adults with and without ASD. Perceived number of heartbeats over 4 time intervals was compared with actual heart rate to determine IA. Effects of group, age, IQ, heart rate, and mental counting ability on accuracy were assessed using multiple regression. Post hoc correlations were performed to clarify significant interactions. Age was unrelated to IA in both groups when IQ ≥115. When IQ <115, this relationship was positive in typical development and negative in ASD. These results suggest that cognitive ability moderates the effect of age on IA differently in autism and typical development.
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Keywords: AUTISM; DEVELOPMENT; INTELLIGENCE; INTEROCEPTION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2017-02-01

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  • Research on the mechanisms of human cognition is leading to a deeper understanding of how the processes of thinking, problem solving, attention, perception, and memory affect learning and have led to effective strategies to enhance learning in educational settings ranging from pre-K to adult education environments. The Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology (JCEP) presents in-depth articles on theory and empirical research as well as current practice and effectiveness of cognitive assessment, cognitive rehabilitation, cognitive education, and psychology around the world. Readers include those in education, cognitive psychology, special education, adult education, educational psychology, school psychology, speech and language, and public policy.
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