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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: theory of mind

December 2012

Epidemiology: Complex disorder

by  /  6 December 2012

Researchers are digging into the myriad causes of autism to refine its definition and find elusive biological signatures.

October 2012

Social spontaneity

by  /  30 October 2012

People with autism don’t look at others’ eyes or mimic their actions in everyday life, but they can do these things when asked to, according a review published 7 September in Brain and Development. 


Cognition and behavior: Mind blindness in autism syndromes

by  /  19 October 2012

Trouble with theory of mind, or the ability to infer what other people think or believe, is one of the most well-known deficits in autism. Two new studies show that theory of mind is also lacking in people with autism-related syndromes.


New test probes real-world aspects of theory of mind

by  /  17 October 2012

A new way to evaluate theory of mind, the ability to imagine what others are thinking or feeling, shows promise for teasing apart the different aspects of this complex mental process, according to a poster presented Tuesday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in New Orleans.


Researchers question meaning of ‘resting state’ in autism

by  /  15 October 2012

Many researchers have reported atypical brain connectivity in people with autism lying passively in a brain scanner. But those differences may be the result of what participants are thinking about, rather than of an underlying neural defect, according to a poster presented Sunday at the 2012 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in New Orleans.


Study tracks size of social brain areas across adolescence

by  /  14 October 2012

Researchers have charted the normal development of what’s known as the social brain from childhood to young adulthood, according to research presented Sunday at the 2012 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in New Orleans.

July 2012
A student is seated at a table with a sheet of paper in front of him. They hold a pencil in this right hand and are filling out the sheet.

Researchers grapple with mixed results from cognitive studies

by  /  30 July 2012

Some studies have suggested that people with autism have deficits in executive function — a set of complex mental processes involved in everyday life. But these results may instead reflect their difficulties imagining what other people are thinking, according to a provocative new hypothesis.

June 2012

Cognition and behavior: Brain scans probe joint attention

by  /  12 June 2012

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, researchers have for the first time identified brain regions activated by joint attention, the process in which two people direct their attention to the same object, person or topic of conversation. The findings appeared 16 April in Human Brain Mapping.

April 2012

Cognition and behavior: Language defect identified in autism

by  /  13 April 2012

Children who have both autism and intellectual disability may understand fewer words than their speaking skills suggest, which is not the case for typically developing children or those with intellectual disability alone. The results were published 21 February in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

March 2012

Cognition and behavior: Brain changes tied to autism severity

by  /  16 March 2012

Adults with autism have regional differences in brain volume in areas that play a role in social behavior and communication compared with controls, according to a large study published in the February issue of Archives of General Psychiatry. The differences correlate with the severity of autism symptoms, the study also shows.