Random Number Generation in Autism

Mark A. Williams*, Simon A. Moss, John L. Bradshaw, Nicole J. Rinehart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


This study explored the ability of individuals with autism to generate a unique series of digits. Fourteen low-functioning individuals with autism, 14 intellectually disabled individuals, and 14 postgraduate university students generated a series of pseudo-random digits. Individuals with autism were more likely to repeat previous digits than were either of the control groups. The normal control group, however, was less likely to attempt cycling through all digits before repeating. Accordingly, low-functioning individuals with autism may exhibit a short-fall in response inhibition. This finding supports the executive dysfunction theory of autism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-47
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Autism
  • Executive function
  • Inhibition
  • Randomness


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