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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: theory of mind

April 2011

Researchers track down autism rates across the globe

by  /  7 April 2011

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.

March 2011

Why fold Asperger syndrome into autism spectrum disorder in the DSM-5?

by  /  29 March 2011

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.


False-belief tasks are distinct from theory of mind

by  /  15 March 2011

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.


‘Broken mirror’ concept of autism challenged

by  /  3 March 2011

Several new studies challenge the ‘broken mirror’ hypothesis of autism, which suggests that defects in specialized brain cells called mirror neurons explain why people with the disorder find social interaction difficult.

February 2011

‘Mind blindness’ affects moral reasoning in autism

by  /  17 February 2011

High-functioning adults with autism pass false belief tests with ease, but struggle with moral judgment in real-life situations.


Sense of self

by  /  11 February 2011

Teenagers with autism can reliably measure their own quality of life and are more satisfied with it than are their parents, who over-emphasize their children’s social and emotional difficulties, according to a study published in February in The Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

January 2011

Animated theory

by  /  20 January 2011

People with autism tend to use more expressive language than controls do when asked to describe the movement of geometric shapes. But their descriptions are inaccurate.

December 2010

Cognition and behavior: Vocabulary similar in autism, language delay

by  /  15 December 2010

Toddlers with autism take longer to build their vocabulary than do those who have only language impairment, according to a study published online in November. When matched by vocabulary level, however, the two groups use the same types of words and have the same grammatical skills.


The full spectrum

by  /  14 December 2010

Scientists have debated the relationship between autism and schizophrenia for decades. A review published last month suggests they are two sides of the same neurobiological coin.

November 2010

‘Daydreaming’ circuit implicated in autism, attention deficit

by  /  24 November 2010

Areas of the brain that are active when people are daydreaming or sleeping, and quiet when they are engaged in a task, are imperfectly synchronized in people with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, researchers say.