Exploring the Components of Advanced Theory of Mind in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Performance of a group of 35 youth and adults with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) was compared with a typical developing (TD) group on three Advanced Theory of Mind tests. The distinction between the social-cognitive and social-perceptual components of Theory of Mind was also explored. The HFA group had more difficulties in all tasks. Performance on the two social-cognitive tests was highly correlated in the HFA group, but these were not related with the social-perceptual component. These results suggest that the youth with HFA have difficulties on all the components of social knowledge but may be using different underlying cognitive abilities depending on the nature of the task.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Asperger syndrome High functioning autism Advanced theory of mind Componential view
This research was supported by grant from Fondo Investigación Sanitaria (FIS PI081217). We express our sincere thanks to the participants and their families. We also gratefully acknowledge to a large number of professionals for their help with recruiting and testing the sample.
CP conceived of the study, participated in its design, acquisition of data and performed the measurement, interpretation of the data and drafted the manuscript. EP participated in the design, helped to draft the manuscript and critical revision of the manuscript. JBN participated in the design, performed the statistical analysis and interpretation of the data. MP conceived of the study, participated in its design and critical revision of the manuscript. JEO conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination and critical revision of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and /or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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