How Does The Executive Dysfunction Explain Certain Behaviours Of Autism Spectrum Condition? Essay

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How does the Executive dysfunction explain certain behaviours in Autism Spectrum Condition?

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects 700,000 people in the UK, however, is not wholly understood. The Executive Dysfunction theory tries to explain why Autistic individuals have impairments in behaviours such as planning, flexibility, inhibition, and self-perception. Executive Function (EF) is made up of the various mechanisms such as planning flexibility and inhibition. If there is a deficit in either of these mechanisms, this causes EF dysfunction which could produce impairments in the above behaviours.

In this review, it was noted that planning and flexibility, appeared to be exclusive to autism in one study, and these mechanisms repeatedly demonstrated impairments in Classic tasks such as the Tower of Hanoi (TOH), which measures planning, and the Wisconsin Card Test (WCST) which measures flexibility. Adapted computer models of the WCST were approaching significance, however, the TOH computer model only showed significant impairment when the task become more complex. Cognitive activation studies suggest, frontal regions seem to be strongly related to rigidity, perseveration and set shifting; planning and flexibility. The complex nature of neural networking, however, makes it difficult to conclude which networks relate to which particular EF mechanism. There is further evidence, however, for flexibility impairments using the
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