Reality Monitoring and Metamemory in Adults with Autism Spectrum Conditions.
Studies of reality monitoring (RM) often implicate medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in distinguishing internal and external information, a region linked to autism-related deficits in social and self-referential information processing, executive function, and memory. This study used two RM conditions (self-other; perceived-imagined) to investigate RM and metamemory in adults with autism. The autism group showed a deficit in RM, which did not differ across source conditions, and both groups exhibited a self-encoding benefit on recognition and source memory. Metamemory for perceived-imagined information, but not for self-other information, was significantly lower in the autism group. Therefore, reality monitoring and metamemory, sensitive to mPFC function, appear impaired in autism, highlighting a difficulty in remembering and monitoring internal and external details of past events.