This study explored the mechanisms underlying the hypermnesia of an autistic savant (NM) through three experiments. The first two served to assess whether absence of interference was responsible for NM's exceptional list memory. The third investigated the type of cues used in recall. Results indicated absence of retroactive interference but presence of slight proactive interference in list recall of proper names. Normal interference effects were found, however, in list recall of common nouns. Exceptional performance was also demonstrated in a missing-name task involving spatial and verbal recall cues. The findings suggest that the outstanding episodic memory presented by some savant persons with autism might be related to an abnormally high resistance to interference.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)