MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Tjasa Velikonja, PhD
Department of Psychiatry
The Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
New York, New York
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Autism is a lifelong condition, and challenges associated with autism persist from childhood into adulthood. Despite this, research and treatment have been largely dedicated to children. Because of that, we had very little understanding of what areas – what cognitive domains – are most severely impacted in adults with autism. Importantly, the lack of such information also limits treatment development in this area.
What is known already is that adults with autism display deficits in social cognition (which refers to the role that cognitive processes play in our social interactions). Although our meta-analysis supported these theories, it also highlighted several other challenges in cognitive processing, such as deficits in processing speed and verbal learning and memory. And these impairments were observed in adults with autism without an overall intellectual disability.