Context reinstatement effects on eyewitness memory in autism spectrum disorder

Katie L. Maras, Dermot M. Bowler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (SciVal)


The Cognitive Interview is among the most widely accepted forms of police interviewing techniques; however, it is ineffective for witnesses with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). One of its main components involves mentally reinstating the internal and external context that was experienced at encoding. We report evidence showing that it is the mental reinstatement instructions in the absence of any physical cues that individuals with ASD find difficult. In more supported conditions where they physically return to the same environment in which they learnt the material, they recall as much as their typical counterparts. Our findings indicate that recall in ASD is aided by context, but only when supported by the physical environment. These findings have important implications for investigative interviewing procedures for witnesses with ASD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-342
JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
Issue number3
Early online date25 Sept 2011
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


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