intense world syndrome (markram)

The hyper-systemizing, assortive mating theory of autism proposes that mating between two individuals with an increased systemizing way of thinking will result in an increased likelihood for the development of Asperger's and autism (36, 37). Dr. Baron-Cohen has shown evidence that humans' ways of thinking or "metnalizing" are sexually dimorphic in the population (38, 39) across a spectrum of "empathizing" to "systemizing" (37-40). Both ways of thinking have been shown to be heritable (40-42).

Systemizing is a way of thinking, to predict laws governing change and reveal the structure or laws of nature, a key feature being that single observations are recorded in a standardized manner (38). This way of thinking can be inadequate to manage the high variance and change in human social behavioral interaction.

In a strictly defined study of Asperger's disorder, the authors chose to study only families that had a unilineal dominant mode of inheritance (i.e., only families in which both the patient and one of their parents was affected). The highest two-point LOD (logarithm of the odds) (the logarithm of: probability genes linked / probability genes not linked) scores were observed on chromosomes 1q-21-22, 3p14-24, and 13q31-33 (17). A replication of the finding on 3p21-24 has been published (53, 54). While it is unclear what gene is implicated on 3p21-24 in Asperger's disorder, 3p24-26 was implicated in a larger screen of both the Finnish sample and Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE) (54) and is the region where the oxytocin receptor is localized.

oxytocin receptor

task switching

The role of inner speech in task switching: A dual-task investigation

"This dual-task study examined the role of inner speech in task switching. Experiment 1 demonstrated that disrupting inner speech via articulatory suppression dramatically increases switch costs. The three subsequent experiments attempted to specify the role of inner speech in task switching by introducing additional manipulations (i.e., types of cues in Experiment 2, task difficulty in Experiment 3, and the number of tasks switched between in Experiment 4) and then examining whether these factors modulated the magnitude of the articulatory suppression effect on switch costs. Only the cue type manipulation—hypothesized to affect the degree to which participants rely on verbal self-instruction—modulated the articulatory suppression effect, suggesting that inner speech serves as an internal self-cuing device by retrieving and activating a phonological representation of the upcoming task."

High functioning children with autism spectrum disorder - A novel test of multitasking

"The key difficulty of these patients is an impaired ability to create and activate delayed intentions." Burgess et al., 2000.

The key diYculty of these patients is an impaired ability to create and activate delayed intentions (Burgess et al., 2000). In a multitask test, multiple intentions (to perform multiple tasks) are created, but the execution of the major- ity of these intentions must be delayed, as it is not possible to perform all the tasks simultaneously. Moreover, during this delay, attention is focused on another activity (the cur- rent task) rather than the ‘to-be-performed’ (delayed) tasks. When an intention is delayed, an ‘intention marker’ must be created. When this marker is subsequently activated, it ‘brings to mind’ the intended action and switches the focus of attention to performing the intended task. These pro- cesses of marker formation, activation, and intention exe- cution are believed to be impaired in adult frontal lobe patients who perform poorly on multitask tests and in their everyday lives (Burgess, 2000; Burgess et al., 2000).

prospective memory: spective memory, PM (Burgess et al., 2000; Einstein & McDaniel, 1996; Ellis, 1996). Successful prospective

switching attention from the current task to the intended task

maintenance of attention over delay

1987). The ability to organise multiple activities has been
associated with the prefrontal cortex in behavioural studies
(Bechara, Tranel, & Damasio, 2000; Burgess, 2000; Eslinger
& Damasio, 1985; Fortin, Godbout, & Braun, 2002;
Shallice & Burgess, 1991), imaging studies (Burgess,
Quayle, & Frith, 2001; Yamadori et al., 1997) and neuro-
physiological studies (Leynes, Marsh, Hicks, Allen, &
Mayhorn, 2003; West, Herndon, & Ross-Munroe, 2000).
Regions which have consistently been highlighted include
the left ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the right dorso-
lateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann areas 8, 9, 46, and
especially 10). Roles attributed to these regions include
maintenance of intention over delay, switching attention
from the current to the intended action, intention retrieval,
and intention execution.

action-oriented representation

delayed intentions

Delaying execution of intentions: overcoming the costs of interruptions

DOI: 10.1002/acp.1002

In real-world settings, execution of retrieved intentions must often be briefly delayed until an ongoing activity is completed (delayed-execute prospective memory tasks). Further, in demanding work settings, the ongoing activity itself can be interrupted. Experiment 1 examined the effects of the delay length (5, 15, 40 s), the presence of an interruption within that delay, and the length of the interruption on prospective memory performance. Delay length did not significantly affect performance, but interruptions produced significant decrements in performance relative to a delay alone. The length of the interruptions (10 vs. 20 s) did not significantly affect performance. Experiment 2 replicated the negative effects of interruptions, and found that these effects could be overcome with a simple external mnemonic. We suggest that in demanding work environments where interruptions are likely, external cues are advisable, especially where prospective memory failures have critical consequences. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

cognitive bottlenecks

Mitigating cognitive bottlenecks via an augmented cognition adaptive system

A conceptual framework for designing human-computer cognitive systems is proposed. The Cognitive Bottleneck Framework (CBF) identifies four significant "cognitive bottlenecks" that negatively impact the quality and tempo of decision making: (1) Information overload; humans cannot manage the vast amounts of information delivered by their computing environment, (2) Sequential cognitive processing; while information arrives in parallel, humans are essentially serial processors that can only address a single thread or task at a time, (3) Narrow user input capabilities: the system has more sophisticated means of communicating to the human than the human has of communicating to the system, and (4) Function mis-allocation; tasks are allocated to humans by default rather than by design, leaving them with tasks for which they are cognitively ill-suited. The overall purpose of CBF is to "right-size" these bottlenecks, remove constraints that restrict information flow, and better fit information channels to the abilities of either the human or computer.

  • Reading hidden intentions in the human brain
  • The cost of remembering to remember in event-based prospective memory: Investigating the capacity demands of delayed intention performance.
  • The cost of event-based prospective memory: Salient target events
  • The effects of working memory resource availability on prospective memory
  • Interference to ongoing activities covaries with the characteristics of an event-based intention
  • Use of Virtual Reality Tasks to Assess Prospective Memory: Applicability and Evidence
  • Multitasking during Web search sessions
  • Multitasking information behavior and information task switching: An exploratory study
  • Ecological validity of a simplified version of the multiple errands shopping test
  • Thinking about intentions
  • Neural substrates of envisioning the future
  • Episodic simulation of future events


  • RE Smith
  • Burgess
  • PM Gollwitzer

    People fulfill a variety of intentions in the course of everyday life. Some examples of different types of prospective-memory tasks include remembering to make a phone call after a certain duration has elapsed (a time-based task), performing an activity right after finishing a different one (an activity-based task), deliv- ering a message to an acquaintance (an event-based task), attend- ing a seminar on changes in health benefits (a novel task), taking vitamins or medication (a habitual intention), and so forth (Bran- dimonte, Einstein, & McDaniel, 1996). The particular cuing con- ditions associated with these different intentions vary along many dimensions, such as the amount of self-initiated processing that is required (e.g., Craik, 1986; Einstein, McDaniel, Richardson, Guynn, & Cunfer, 1995; Ellis, 1996), how well established in memory the intention is (e.g., Einstein, McDaniel, Smith, & Shaw, 1998), and what social and motivational factors might affect per- tinent cognitive processes such as self-remindings (e.g., Hicks, Marsh, & Russell, 2000; Kvavilashvili, 1998; Meacham & Leiman, 1982). Given this variability, most articles have investi- gated just one type of prospective memory (but for several notable exceptions, see Einstein & McDaniel, 1990; Kliegel, Martin, Mc- Daniel, & Einstein, 2001; Park, Hertzog, Kidder, Morrell, & Mayhorn, 1997). We have adopted this strategy here by exploring

time-based task

activity-based task (task switching after a finished task)

event-based task

novel task

habitual intention

Time-Based Prospective Memory in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

In this study, for the first time, prospective memory was investigated in 11 school-aged children with autism spectrum disorders and 11 matched neurotypical controls. A computerised time-based prospective memory task was embedded in a visuospatial working memory test and required participants to remember to respond to certain target times. Controls had significantly more correct prospective memory responses than the autism spectrum group. Moreover, controls checked the time more often and increased time-monitoring more steeply as the target times approached. These differences in time-checking may suggest that prospective memory in autism spectrum disorders is affected by reduced self-initiated processing as indicated by reduced task monitoring.

^ that's because it costs too much to keep on remembering whatever the intention or planned action is supposed to be.

strategy application disorder (burgess)

prospective memory impairment

intention retrieval

cue identification and remembering the intention both are correlated via neuroimaging to the anterior prefrontal cortex.

Deficits in cue detection and intention retrieval underlie prospective memory impairment in schizophrenia

Distinct neural circuits support transient and sustained processes in prospective memory and working memory

Separable brain systems supporting cued versus self-initiated realization of delayed intentions,%20S.,%20Gollwitzer,%20P.%20M.,%20Coehen,%20A.-L.,%20et%20al.%20(2009).%20Seperable%20brain%20systems.pdf

Separable brain systems supporting cued versus self-initiated realization of delayed intentions

In everyday life, one can link anticipated specific cues (e.g. visiting a restaurant) with desired actions (e.g., ordering a healthy meal). Alternatively, intentions such as “I intend to eat more healthily” present the option to act when one encounters the same cue. In the first case, a specific cue triggers a specific action; in the second, one must act in a more self-initiated manner. The authors compared such scenarios using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Participants were either instructed to respond in a particular manner to target events (cued condition) or told that they would score points for such responses, without being told that they were necessary (self-initiated condition). Although conditions differed only in the wording of instructions, the self-initiated condition was associated with poorer performance and greater activity in a predominantly frontoparietal network. Responses to targets in the self-initiated and cued conditions yielded greater activity in lateral and medial Brodmann area 10, respectively. The authors suggest that these results reflect differing demands for self-initiated versus externally cued behavior following different types of instruction, in line with the distinction between goal intentions and implementation intentions proposed by P. M. Gollwitzer and colleagues.

Environmental Cueing and Implementation Intentions We now turn to potential differences in environmental cuing between the two conditions. Previous studies have implicated medial BA 10 in environmentally driven behavior, and lateral BA 10 in tasks requiring attention to be diverted toward self-generated information (Burgess et al., 2003; Gilbert, Frith, & Burgess, 2005, Gilbert, Simons, Frith, & Burgress, 2006, Gilbert, Spengler, Simons, Frith, et al., 2006; Gilbert et al., 2007). For example, in a study by Gilbert et al. (2005), participants performed three sepa- rate tasks that could be accomplished either by attending to visu- ally presented information or by performing the same task “in their heads.” In all three tasks, medial BA 10 activity was associated with phases of the tasks in which participants attended to visually presented information, whereas lateral BA 10 activity was associ- ated with the process of switching attention between perceptual and self-generated information. Consistent with this suggestion, evidence from task switching suggests that lateral BA 10 is par- ticularly engaged when participants themselves infer which of two tasks to perform, rather than being directly cued (Forstmann, Brass, Koch, & von Cramon, 2005; see also Forstmann et al., 2008). Applying these results to the present findings, this suggests that participants were able to perform in the cued condition in a more environmentally driven manner, whereas performance in the self-initiated condition was more dependent on attention toward internally represented information.

implementation intentions goal intentions

manner (Gollwitzer, 1993). In this way, implementation intentions are thought to represent an efficient mechanism for goal attain- ment. By contrast, goal intentions (i.e., representations of overar- ching goals rather than specific cue–action links) may be less effective because they are more dependent on self-initiated behav- ior (Cohen, Bayer, Jaudas, & Gollwitzer, 2008; Gollwitzer & Sheeran, 2006; see also Achtziger, Gollwitzer, & Sheeran, 2008, for evidence that implementation intentions may in addition be triggered by internally generated cues such as craving for choco- late). In the cognitive neuroscience of prospective memory, it has been suggested that rostral prefrontal cortex (approximating BA 10) plays a crucial role due to the requirement to flexibly mediate the attentional balance between internally represented information (such as delayed intentions) and externally derived perceptual information relevant to the ongoing task (Burgess et al., 2008). Several studies have suggested that externally triggered behavior is particularly associated with the functions of medial BA 10, and self-initiated behavior is particularly associated with the functions of lateral BA 10 (Burgess et al., 2007; Gilbert, Frith, & Burgess., 2005, Gilbert, Simons, Frith, & Burgress, 2006; Gilbert, Spengler, Simons, Frith, et al., 2006). Bringing these two perspectives to- gether, the present results suggest that realizing implementation intentions may depend particularly on externally cued processing, supported by medial BA 10, whereas realizing goal intentions may depend more on self-generated processing, supported by lateral BA 10.

Control of cost in prospective memory: Evidence for spontaneous retrieval processes

Self-regulation of consumer decision making and behavior: The role of implementation intentions

Prospective memory: Are preparatory attentional processes necessary for a single focal cue?

Goal implementation: the benefits and costs of if-then planning (Gollwitzer) "although the relationship between goals and behavior is substantial (Webb & Sheeran, 2006), even very motivated individuals at times fail to act on their goals. In this …"

Goal implementation: the benefits and costs of if-then planning (Gollwitzer) "although the relationship between goals and behavior is substantial (Webb & Sheeran, 2006), even very motivated individuals at times fail to act on their goals. In this …"

page 365
    By forming implementation intentions, people can strategically switch from conscious and effortful action initiation (guided by goal intentions in the action phase) to having their goal-directed responses automatically elicited by the specified situation cues (through the implementation intention formed during the preactional phase). We review evidence for the heightened activation of the situational cue specified in the if-component (i.e., the if-process) and the automaticity of performing the response specified in the then-component (i.e, the then-process).
    "If situation Y arises (e.g., when I'm going to bed on Sunday night), then I will perform Behavior Z (e.g., set my alarm early to read the textbook before lecture)."

initiation without conscious intent (Bayer, Achtizger, Gollwitzer, Moskowitz, in press)

page 373
    Through implementation intentions, planned goal-directed behaviors essentially become habits that are initiated effortlessly (Aarts & Dijksterhuis, 2000).

One benefit deriving from the efficiency of the then-response is that acting with an implementation intention allows an individual to work toward a goal without tiring as quickly as one acting on goal intentions alone. Muraven and Baumeister (2000) proposed that self-regulation failure often occurs because self-control is a limited resource, and the exertion of self-control leads to a reduction (or "depletion") of these resources. The result is a state known as /ego depletion/. In a typical demonstration of ego depletion, participants who were first asked to suppress certain thoughts (a difficult self-regulatory task) later gave up more quickly (i.e., were able to persevere for less time) on a subsequent anagram task (Muraven, Tice & Baumeister, 1998, Study 2). What becomes of individuals who are self-regulating based on an implementation intention?

A third benefit deriving from the automaticity afforded by then-component of implementation intentions is that responses need not be considered at the time of behavior enactment. Because implementation intentions plan out a goal-directed response in advance, a second conscious act of will (or thinking up a possible response) is unnecessary. As was seen in the Bayer et al. (in press) studies, even subliminally presented critical cues were able to activate the responses specified in the then-component. Thus, even withotu conscious awareness of the cue, the response specified in then-component of the implementation intention can be initiated. This automaticity would be very beneficial for individuals encountering dangerous situations in which complex thinking and decision making is not possible. For example, military personnel and police offers often must respond to dangerous and emotional situations. Rather than formulating a viable response in situ, these individuals may enact their planned responses through implementation intentions directly.

"strategic automaticity" (Gollwitzer, 1999)

Like a habitual response formed through repeated pairing, the behavior specified in the then-component is directly triggered by the situational cue (Aarts & Dijksterhuis, 2000). The benefits of such "strategic automaticity" (Gollwitzer, 1999) created by forming implementation intentions are similar to the benefits of positive habits for daily self-regulation. Because habitual behaviors are enacted automatically, they take up little cognitive resources, so that even when a person is ego depleted they can be maintained (Neal, Wood, & Quinn, 2006). Research has also demonstrated that behaviors controlled by habits are enacted without necessitating the prefrontal regions associated with more reflective or effortful cognitive action control (Owen, 1997). The Lenggeldeer and Golllwitzeer (2001) fiindiing that frontal llobe patients benefit in their action control as much from forming implementation intentions as control patients or college students suggests that the prefrontal cortex is less involved in action control by implementation intentions as well.

implementation intention

dovetailing, multitasking, everyday life

"the ability to sustain behavior without perseveration"