European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 255–266

A preliminary study of right hemisphere cognitive deficits and impaired social judgments among young people with Asperger syndrome

  • Hadyn D. Ellis
  • Diane M. Ellis
  • William Fraser
  • Shoumitro Deb
Article

Abstract

Seven children and young adults with definite signs of Asperger syndrome were administered a battery of tests designed to test: intelligence; left and right cerebral hemisphere functioning; ability to discriminate eye gaze; and social judgment. The subjects revealed a non significant tendency to have a higher verbal IQ than visual IQ; and their right hemisphere functioning seemed impaired. They were also poorer at discriminating eye gaze and revealed difficulties in making hypothetical social judgments. The data are considered with reference to Rourke's (1988) work on non-verbal learning disabilities together with the ideas of Tantam (1992) on the “social gaze response” and Baron-Cohen's (1993) Eye-Detection Detector model. The possible links between social judgment and theory of mind (Frith, 1991) are briefly explored.

Résumé

7 enfants et jeunes adultes avec des signs définis du syndrome d'Asperger ont passé une batterie de tests désignés comme tests: d'intelligence; du fonctionnement des hémisphères cérébraux gauche et droit; de la capacité de discriminer le regard oculaire et de jugement social. Les sujets ont montré une tendance non significative à avoir un Q.I. verbal plus haut qu'un Q.I. visuel; et le fonctionnement de l'hémisphère droit semblait défectueux. Ils étaient aussi plus pauvres dans le regard oculaire discriminatif et révélaient des difficultés dans l'élaboration des jugements sociaux hypothétiques. Les faits sont considérés en réference au travail de Rourke (1988) sur les difficultés d'apprentissage non verbales ainsi que par rapport aux idées de Tamtam (1992) sur la “réponse sociale par le regard” et celles des Baron-Cohen (1993) sur le modèle détecteur de la détection oculaire du regard. Les liens possibles entre jugement social et la théorie de l'esprit (Frith, 1991) sont brièvement explorés.

Zusammenfassung

Sieben Kinder und junge Erwachsene mit gesichertem Asperger-Syndrom wurden mit einer Testbatterie untersucht im Hinblick auf Intelligenz, Funktionieren der linken und rechten Gehirnhälfte, Fähigkeit zur Differenzierung von Blicken und ihr soziales Urteilsvermögen. Die Probanden zeigten eine nicht signifikante Tendenz zu höheren verbalen als „visuellen“ IQ-Werten; das Funktionieren der rechten Hemisphäre schien gestört. Sie schnitten auch schlechter bei der Beurteilung von Blicken ab und zeigten Schwierigkeiten im Hinblick auf ihr Vermögen, hypothetische soziale Beurteilungen vorzunehmen. Diese Daten werden diskutiert unter Bezugnahme auf die Arbeit von Rourke (1988) zu nicht-verbalen Lernstörungen und außerdem auf die Vorstellungen von Tantam (1992) zur l"social gaze response“ und zu Baron-Cohen's (1993) „Eye-Detection Detector“ Modell. Die möglichen Beziehungen zwischen sozialem Urteilsvermögen und theory of mind (Frith, 1991) werden kurz exploriert.

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Copyright information

© Hogrefe & Huber Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hadyn D. Ellis
    • 1
  • Diane M. Ellis
    • 2
  • William Fraser
    • 3
  • Shoumitro Deb
    • 3
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of WalesCardiffUK
  2. 2.School of EducationUniversity of WalesCardiffUK
  3. 3.Department of Psychological MedicineUniversity of Wales College of MedicineCardiffUK

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