People with autism aren’t the only ones who struggle to assume the perspective of others. Typical young people who are socially adept have good spatial skills — but only when asked to see things from the perspective of human-like objects.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Tag: theory of mind
Few scientists have a career that spans as wide a spectrum in autism research as Simon Baron-Cohen, professor of developmental psychopathology at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. And fewer still garner effusive compliments from those who don’t agree with them.
Children with autism who participate in a specialized drama program show improvements in face identification and theory of mind, the ability to infer what others are thinking, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
No matter which of the numerous genetic and environmental risk factors has caused autism, the part of the system that is always affected is most likely to be found at the cognitive level, argues Uta Frith, a leader in the field of cognitive neuroscience.
Cultural stigma, lack of awareness about mental health and poor medical infrastructure have led to inaccurate diagnoses and artificially low autism prevalence in many countries around the world, epidemiologists say.
In the new diagnostic manual for psychiatric disorders, Asperger syndrome will be folded into autism spectrum disorder. Francesca Happé, a member of the committee that made the recommendation, explains the rationale behind the decision.
Languages lacking words for feelings can lead to ‘mind-blindness,’ a feature of autism, according to a 2009 study. Cognitive neuroscientist Helen Tager-Flusberg argues that language delay only partially explains the theory of mind deficits seen in people with autism.