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Behavior Genetics

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 51–60 | Cite as

Endophenotype Approach to Developmental Psychopathology: Implications for Autism Research

  • Essi Viding
  • Sarah-Jayne Blakemore
Original Paper

Abstract

This paper discusses the utility of the endophenotype approach in the study of developmental psychopathology. It is argued that endophenotype research holds considerable promise for the study of gene-brain/cognition-behaviour pathways for developmental disorders. This paper outlines the criteria for determining useful endophenotypes. Possible endophenotypes for autism are discussed as an example of an area where endophenotype research on developmental disorders may be fruitful. It is concluded that although the endophenotype approach holds promise for the study of gene-brain/cognition-behaviour pathways, much work remains to be done in order to validate endophenotype measures. It is also noted that the changing nature of any developmental psychopathology poses a particular challenge to this type of research.

Keywords

Intermediate phenotype Cognitive development Autism Asperger syndrome Theory of mind Mentalising Central coherence 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Institute of Cognitive NeuroscienceUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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