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      Strengthening risk prediction using statistical learning in children with autism spectrum disorder

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          Abstract

          Purpose

          The purpose of this paper is to investigate the prediction ability in children with ASD in the risk-involving situations and compute the impact of statistical learning (SL) in strengthening their risk knowledge. The learning index and stability with time are also calculated by comparing their performance over three consecutive weekly sessions (session 1, session 2 and session 3).

          Design/methodology/approach

          Participants were presented with a series of images, showing simple and complex risk-involving situations, using the psychophysical experimental paradigm. The stimuli in the experiment were provided with different levels of difficulty in order to keep the legacy of the prediction and SL-based experiment intact.

          Findings

          The first phase of experimental work showed that children with ASD accurately discriminated the risk, although performed poorly as compared to neurotypical. The attenuated response in differentiating risk levels indicates that children with ASD have a poor and underdeveloped sense of risk. The second phase investigated their capability to extract the information from repetitive patterns and calculated SL stability value in time. The learning curve shows that SL is intact and stable with time (average session r=0.74) in children with ASD.

          Research limitations/implications

          The present work concludes that impaired action prediction could possibly be one of the factors underlying underdeveloped sense of risk in children with ASD. Their SL capability shows that risk knowledge can be strengthened in them. In future, the studies should investigate the impact of age and individual differences, by using knowledge from repetitive trials, on the learning rate and trajectories.

          Practical implications

          SL, being an integral part of different therapies, rehabilitation schemes and intervention systems, has the potential to enhance the cognitive and functional abilities of children with ASD.

          Originality/value

          Past studies have provided evidence regarding the work on the prediction ability in individuals with ASD. However, it is unclear whether the risk-involving/dangerous situations play any certain role to enhance the prediction ability in children with ASD. Also, there are limited studies predicting risk knowledge in them. Based on this, the current work has investigated the risk prediction in children with ASD.

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          Most cited references 35

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          Autism as a disorder of prediction.

          A rich collection of empirical findings accumulated over the past three decades attests to the diversity of traits that constitute the autism phenotypes. It is unclear whether subsets of these traits share any underlying causality. This lack of a cohesive conceptualization of the disorder has complicated the search for broadly effective therapies, diagnostic markers, and neural/genetic correlates. In this paper, we describe how theoretical considerations and a review of empirical data lead to the hypothesis that some salient aspects of the autism phenotype may be manifestations of an underlying impairment in predictive abilities. With compromised prediction skills, an individual with autism inhabits a seemingly "magical" world wherein events occur unexpectedly and without cause. Immersion in such a capricious environment can prove overwhelming and compromise one's ability to effectively interact with it. If validated, this hypothesis has the potential of providing unifying insights into multiple aspects of autism, with attendant benefits for improving diagnosis and therapy.
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            Teleological reasoning in infancy: the naı̈ve theory of rational action

            Converging evidence demonstrates that one-year-olds interpret and draw inferences about other's goal-directed actions. We contrast alternative theories about how this early competence relates to our ability to attribute mental states to others. We propose that one-year-olds apply a non-mentalistic interpretational system, the 'teleological stance' to represent actions by relating relevant aspects of reality (action, goal-state and situational constraints) through the principle of rational action, which assumes that actions function to realize goal-states by the most efficient means available. We argue that this early inferential principle is identical to the rationality principle of the mentalistic stance - a representational system that develops later to guide inferences about mental states.
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              • Article: not found

              Implicit learning as an ability.

              The ability to automatically and implicitly detect complex and noisy regularities in the environment is a fundamental aspect of human cognition. Despite considerable interest in implicit processes, few researchers have conceptualized implicit learning as an ability with meaningful individual differences. Instead, various researchers (e.g., Reber, 1993; Stanovich, 2009) have suggested that individual differences in implicit learning are minimal relative to individual differences in explicit learning. In the current study of English 16-17year old students, we investigated the association of individual differences in implicit learning with a variety of cognitive and personality variables. Consistent with prior research and theorizing, implicit learning, as measured by a probabilistic sequence learning task, was more weakly related to psychometric intelligence than was explicit associative learning, and was unrelated to working memory. Structural equation modeling revealed that implicit learning was independently related to two components of psychometric intelligence: verbal analogical reasoning and processing speed. Implicit learning was also independently related to academic performance on two foreign language exams (French, German). Further, implicit learning was significantly associated with aspects of self-reported personality, including intuition, Openness to Experience, and impulsivity. We discuss the implications of implicit learning as an ability for dual-process theories of cognition, intelligence, personality, skill learning, complex cognition, and language acquisition. 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                AIA
                10.1108/AIA
                Advances in Autism
                AIA
                Emerald Publishing Limited
                2056-3868
                02 July 2018
                : 4
                : 3
                : 141-152
                Affiliations
                Dr B.R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar, India
                Author notes
                Tanu can be contacted at: tanu1991libra@gmail.com
                Article
                617451 AIA-06-2018-0022.pdf AIA-06-2018-0022
                10.1108/AIA-06-2018-0022
                © Emerald Publishing Limited
                Page count
                Figures: 8, Tables: 2, Equations: 4, References: 46, Pages: 12, Words: 5501
                Product
                Categories
                research-article, Research paper
                cat-HSC, Health & social care
                cat-LID, Learning & intellectual disabilities
                Custom metadata
                yes
                yes
                JOURNAL
                included

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