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Behavioural measures of implicit theory of mind in adults with high functioning autism

Eliane Deschrijver (UGent) , Lara Bardi (UGent) , Roeljan Wiersema (UGent) and Marcel Brass (UGent)
(2016) COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE. 7(1-4). p.192-202
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Abstract
Theory of mind (ToM) research has shown that adults with high functioning autism (HFA) demonstrate typical performance on tasks that require explicit belief reasoning, despite clear social difficulties in everyday life situations. In the current study, we used implicit belief manipulations that are task-irrelevant and therefore less susceptible to strategies. In a ball-detection task, it was shown that neurotypical individuals detect a ball faster if an agent believed the ball was present. We predicted that adults with high functioning autism (HFA) would not show this effect. While we found a numerical difference in the hypothesized direction, we did not find a reliable group effect. Interestingly, the implicit ToM-index showed a strong negative correlation with both self-reported and observational measures of social difficulties in the HFA group. This suggests that the relationship between implicit ToM reasoning and the symptomatology of HFA might be subtler than assumed.
Keywords
FALSE-BELIEF, SPECTRUM DISORDERS, ASPERGER-SYNDROME, MENTAL STATES, CHILDREN, OTHERS, ATTRIBUTION, INFANTS, REVEALS, HUMANS, Autism spectrum disorder, Implicit theory of mind, Explicit theory of mind, Belief reasoning, High functioning autism

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Chicago
Deschrijver, Eliane, Lara Bardi, Roeljan Wiersema, and Marcel Brass. 2016. “Behavioural Measures of Implicit Theory of Mind in Adults with High Functioning Autism.” Cognitive Neuroscience 7 (1-4): 192–202.
APA
Deschrijver, E., Bardi, L., Wiersema, R., & Brass, M. (2016). Behavioural measures of implicit theory of mind in adults with high functioning autism. COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE, 7(1-4), 192–202.
Vancouver
1.
Deschrijver E, Bardi L, Wiersema R, Brass M. Behavioural measures of implicit theory of mind in adults with high functioning autism. COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE. 2016;7(1-4):192–202.
MLA
Deschrijver, Eliane, Lara Bardi, Roeljan Wiersema, et al. “Behavioural Measures of Implicit Theory of Mind in Adults with High Functioning Autism.” COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE 7.1-4 (2016): 192–202. Print.
@article{6911886,
  abstract     = {Theory of mind (ToM) research has shown that adults with high functioning autism (HFA) demonstrate typical performance on tasks that require explicit belief reasoning, despite clear social difficulties in everyday life situations. In the current study, we used implicit belief manipulations that are task-irrelevant and therefore less susceptible to strategies. In a ball-detection task, it was shown that neurotypical individuals detect a ball faster if an agent believed the ball was present. We predicted that adults with high functioning autism (HFA) would not show this effect. While we found a numerical difference in the hypothesized direction, we did not find a reliable group effect. Interestingly, the implicit ToM-index showed a strong negative correlation with both self-reported and observational measures of social difficulties in the HFA group. This suggests that the relationship between implicit ToM reasoning and the symptomatology of HFA might be subtler than assumed.},
  author       = {Deschrijver, Eliane and Bardi, Lara and Wiersema, Roeljan and Brass, Marcel},
  issn         = {1758-8928},
  journal      = {COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE},
  keyword      = {FALSE-BELIEF,SPECTRUM DISORDERS,ASPERGER-SYNDROME,MENTAL STATES,CHILDREN,OTHERS,ATTRIBUTION,INFANTS,REVEALS,HUMANS,Autism spectrum disorder,Implicit theory of mind,Explicit theory of mind,Belief reasoning,High functioning autism},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1-4},
  pages        = {192--202},
  title        = {Behavioural measures of implicit theory of mind in adults with high functioning autism},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17588928.2015.1085375},
  volume       = {7},
  year         = {2016},
}

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