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Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence- Autism (3).docx

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Richard B Day

October 3 , 2012 Psych 2AP3: Abnormal Psychology – Major Disorders Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence: Autism (3) Theory of Mind - fundamental problem underlying autism is the difficulty of understanding that other people have thoughts and needs like yours - deficit in understanding mental states:  states of knowledge or ignorance  pretense, deception, lying  jokes, irony, sarcasm - criticisms of ToM in autism:  social impairment before precursors of ToM  ToM & communication emerge independently  ToM found in high-functioning autism  ToM deficits in mental retardation: not specifically associated with autism Weak Central Coherence (WCC): - fundamental difficulty in autism is in embedding individual details in the larger context - weak central coherence: don’t pull together all of the context - prefer local to global processing:  superior on embedded figure tasks  superior on Navon letter task  explains problems with face recognition - may succeed on ToM tasks, still show WCC - criticisms of WCC:  many same-type trials = no Navon impairment  Navon studies: every combination of results  Reliable global inferiority only for faces Face and Emotion Perception - sort faces by physical features not emotions: process faces as wholes - ERP differences between familiar/unfamiliar objects, not faces (mother vs stranger)
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