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Stress-induced activation of the locus ceruleus-norepinephrine (LC-NE) system produces significant cognitive and behavioral effects, including enhanced arousal and attention. Improvements in discrimination task performance and memory have been attributed to this stress response. In contrast, for other cognitive functions that require cognitive flexibility,(More)
Scenarios manipulating various factors within the emotion of embarrassment, such as whether or not an audience was present when an embarrassing act was committed, the type of audience present, empathic embarrassment, etc., were presented to high-functioning participants with autism and comparison groups of those with learning difficulties and typically(More)
OBJECTIVES Our purpose is to investigate cognitive performance and extrapyramidal function early after ecstasy use. BACKGROUND Ecstasy, containing 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine, has shown evidence of causing cognitive deficits and parkinsonian signs. Previous research has examined cognitive performance after a period of prolonged abstinence, but(More)
OBJECTIVE Our purpose was to study the effect of semantic priming at varying semantic distances on brain activation during a lexical decision experiment, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). BACKGROUND Neuroimaging studies have demonstrated decreased brain activation for primed versus unprimed stimuli in language areas due to semantic(More)
The ability of high-functioning individuals with autism to understand the complex emotion of embarrassment, and how this relates to an understanding of theory of mind, was investigated. Scenarios involving embarrassing and non-embarrassing situations were presented to a group with autism and three comparison groups. Participants were required to rate the(More)
Previous research suggests that the noradrenergic system modulates certain types of cognitive flexibility. This study compared various doses of beta-adrenergic antagonists for their effect on cognitive flexibility in problem solving, and how task difficulty interacts with this effect, as well as the effect of beta-adrenergic antagonists on other tasks.(More)
Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) demonstrate impaired utilization of context, which allows for superior performance on the "false memory" task. We report the application of a simplified parallel distributed processing model of context utilization to the false memory task. For individuals without ASD, experiments support a model wherein(More)
Cognitive flexibility is affected by stress. The cold pressor test is a known adrenergic stressor that impairs memory, but the effect on cognitive flexibility is unknown. Sixteen subjects were given cognitive flexibility and memory tasks with and without one hand immersed in cold water. Memory was impaired in the cold pressor condition but there was no(More)
Stress is known to activate the noradrenergic system which may have a modulatory influence on cognitive flexibility. We investigated whether an auditory stressor would thus affect performance on cognitive flexibility. A task utilizing cognitive flexibility and two memory tasks were presented in both stressful and non-stressful condition. In the stressful(More)
Young adults with High Functioning Autism and a matched comparison group told personal narratives using a standard conversational procedure. Longest narratives were determined (i.e., number of propositions included) and scored using an analysis that looks at the organization of a narrative around a highpoint. The group with Autism Spectrum Disorder produced(More)