Cognition 21 (1):37-46 (1985)

Authors
Alan M. Leslie
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
Abstract
We use a new model of metarepresentational development to predict a cognitive deficit which could explain a crucial component of the social impairment in childhood autism. One of the manifestations of a basic metarepresentational capacity is a ‘ theory of mind ’. We have reason to believe that autistic children lack such a ‘ theory ’. If this were so, then they would be unable to impute beliefs to others and to predict their behaviour. This hypothesis was tested using Wimmer and Perner’s puppet play paradigm. Normal children and those with Down’s syndrome were used as controls for a group of autistic children. Even though the mental age of the autistic children was higher than that of the controls, they alone failed to impute beliefs to others. Thus the dysfunction we have postulated and demonstrated is independent of mental retardation and specific to autism
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DOI 10.1016/0010-0277(85)90022-8
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References found in this work BETA

Does the Chimpanzee Have a Theory of Mind?David Premack & G. Woodruff - 1978 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 4 (4):515-629.
Beliefs About Beliefs [P&W, SR&B].Daniel C. Dennett - 1978 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1 (4):568-570.
When is Attribution of Beliefs Justified? [P&W].Zenon W. Pylyshyn - 1978 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1 (4):592-593.

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Citations of this work BETA

How the Body Shapes the Mind.Shaun Gallagher - 2005 - Oxford University Press UK.
Folk Psychology as Simulation.Robert M. Gordon - 1986 - Mind and Language 1 (2):158-71.
Interpretation Psychologized.Alvin I. Goldman - 1989 - Mind and Language 4 (3):161-85.
Cultural Learning.Michael Tomasello, Ann Cale Kruger & Hilary Horn Ratner - 1993 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 (3):495-511.

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