Construction of Past and Future Events in Children and Adolescents with ASD: Role of Self-relatedness and Relevance to Decision-Making

Elisa Ciaramelli, Silvia Spoglianti, Elena Bertossi, Nadia Generali, Francesca Telarucci, Raffaella Tancredi, Filippo Muratori, Roberta Igliozzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We studied episodic memory and future thinking for self-relevant and other-relevant events at different levels of retrieval support, theory of mind, and delay discounting in ASD children and adolescents (ASDs). Compared to typically developing controls, ASDs produced fewer internal (episodic) but a similar number of external (semantic) details while remembering past events, imagining future events, and imagining future events happening to others, indicating a general impairment of event construction. This deficit was driven by group differences under high retrieval support, and therefore unlikely to depend on self-initiated retrieval/construction deficits. ASDs’ event construction impairment related to the severity of ASD symptoms, and to theory of mind deficits. ASDs, however, showed normal delay discounting, highlighting preserved forms of future-based decision-making in ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2995-3009
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2018



  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Delay discounting
  • Episodic memory
  • Future thinking
  • Theory of mind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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