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European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 160–165 | Cite as

Reaction times to mental state and non-mental state questions in false belief tasks by high-functioning individuals with autism

  • D. M. Bowler
Original Contribution

Abstract

Nine people from the high functioning end of the autistic spectrum and eight non-handicapped controls matched on verbal IQ were given two tests of second-order false belief understanding. On the basis of previous research, it was hypothesised that the subjects with autism used different mechanisms to process mental state and non-mental state questions and that this difference would be reflected in a significant group by question type interaction in the reaction times to the two types of question. Although the results showed that the autistic subjects had longer reaction times to questions than controls, there was no evidence for differential reaction times for mental state and non mental state questions for either group.

Key words

High-functioning autism Asperger's syndrome theory of mind second-order false belief 

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Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. M. Bowler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCity UniversityLondonUK

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