Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 521–531 | Cite as

Humor in Autism and Asperger Syndrome

  • Viktoria Lyons
  • Michael Fitzgerald


Research has shown that individuals with autism and Asperger syndrome are impaired in humor appreciation, although anecdotal and parental reports provide some evidence to the contrary. This paper reviews the cognitive and affective processes involved in humor and recent neurological findings. It examines humor expression and understanding in autism and Asperger syndrome in the context of the main psychological theories (Theory of Mind, Executive Functions, Weak Central Coherence and Laterization models) and associated neural substrates. In the concluding sections, examples of humor displayed by individuals with autism/Asperger syndrome which appear to challenge the above theories are analyzed and areas for further research are suggested.

Autism Asperger syndrome humor psychological theory neural substrates 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Viktoria Lyons
    • 1
  • Michael Fitzgerald
    • 2
  1. 1.DublinIreland
  2. 2.Department of Child PsychiatryTrinity CollegeDublinIreland

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