Mindblindness an essay on autism and theory of mind

Additional Information Abstract Of the many scientific and medical discourses that purport to explain, analyze, demystify, or even cure autism, few have been as influential in recent decades as the Theory of Mind ToM account, which holds that autistic people are incapable of intuiting the intentions and emotions of others and are therefore "mindblind", or live with "mindblindness," a condition that separates them from other human beings. ToM is regarded by its more ardent advocates as the primary deficit in autism and the key to understanding autistic cognition and behaviors.

Mindblindness an essay on autism and theory of mind

Definition[ edit ] Folk psychology explains human behavior on the basis of mental states, including beliefsdesiresand intentions. Prior intentions reflect forethought about intentions-in-action; prior intentions do not need to be carried out to be considered intentions. The proposed connective chain is that desire causes intention, which causes action, which causes outcome.

Mindblindness an essay on autism and theory of mind

The Intentional Chain maps the linking of a desire to the satisfaction of a goal via the intermediary intention. First, acquiring an understanding of intention is important for development in that it helps children conceptualize how people and animals differ from objects. Much of behavior is caused by intentions, and understanding intentions helps to interpret these behaviors.

Intention is also necessary to understand and predict the plans and future actions of others. Intentional acts in infancy and childhood[ edit ] From an early age, typically-developing children parse human actions in terms of goals, rather than in terms of movements in space, or muscle movements.

For instance, children watched an adult accidentally under or over shoot a target, or attempt to perform an action but his hand slipped. The aim of the study was to determine whether the children were able to interpret the intention of the adult, regardless of the actual action performed.

Infants who saw unsuccessful attempts at a target act and infants who saw the target act imitated the act at a higher rate than infants who saw neither the act nor an attempt. Nine-month-olds did not respond to the unsuccessful attempt demonstrations; however, month-olds acted similarly to the month-olds.

This suggests that between 9 months and 15 months of age the ability to infer intentions in other people develops.

As mentioned previously, an intentional action is based on the belief that the course of action will satisfy a desire. When outcomes are achieved without the action of the individual directed at the goal, intention is not attributed to the actor; rather, the event is considered an accident.

Gestures and object-directed actions have also been studied in connexion with the development of the understanding of intention. The development of the ability to use gestures and object-directed actions in social situations has been studied from numerous perspectives, including the embodiment perspective and the social-cognitive perspective.

Gestures and object-directed intentions[ edit ] Gestures are often recognized as a tool indicative of higher social reasoning. In order to engage in or understand a gesture, an individual has to recognize it as an indicator of an object or event separate from the self or the actor.

It is thought that pointing, especially declarative pointing i. This understanding is indicated by object-directed reactions to pointing rather than focusing on the hand. Liszkowski and colleagues [21] found that human children begin to point at around one year of age and do so with a multiple motives, including sharing attention and interest.

Early pointing may not indicate an understanding of intention; rather it may indicate an association between the gesture and interesting objects or events. The ontogenetic development of social cognition may be thought of as intertwined with the development pointing actions.

According to this perspective, gestures are not just indicators of development but play a key role in how children come to develop advanced social cognition, including understanding of object-directed relations and human intention.

In addition, Brune and Woodward [28] found that infants who produce object-directed points tended to have an understanding of pointing and infants who engaged in shared attention tended to have an understanding of eye gaze.

Although the findings are correlational, they support the idea that actions may facilitate cognitive understanding. It is unclear whether self-produced pointing gestures causally influence an understanding of pointing as relational; however, there is experimental evidence which suggests that infants supported in a new action skill will subsequently develop an understanding of that action.

This social-cultural perspective is derived from the Vygotskian view that higher cognitive functions originate in relations between individuals. The strict version of this view is that these functions are social actions that have been internalized.

Then, a transitional gesture develops in which the individual reaches toward the object when it is desired as a cue to another to retrieve it. This transitional gesture, says Vygotsky, is an important step toward language in that participation in these social interactions are internalized and become an understanding of the psychological functions of others.

Thus, pointing is an example of the internalization process that occurs over a long series of developmental events.Linguistics TOP Web sites.

Meta-index of linguistics resources: Christopher Manning's site at the University of Sydney, Australia.. Fields of Linguistics by the Linguistics Society of America. Literature (chronological) Peirce, Charles S.

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Mindblindness: An Essay on Autism and Theory of Mind by Simon Baron-Cohen Teaching the Basics of Theory of Mind: A Complete Curriculum with Supporting Materials for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Related Social Difficulties Aged Approximately 5 to 9 Years by Kristina Ordetx.

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are developmental disorders which are thought primarily to affect social functioning.

However, there is now a growing body of evidence that unusual sensory processing is at least a concomitant and possibly the cause of many of the behavioural signs and symptoms of ASD.

This article is a general timeline of psychology.A more general description of the development of the subject of psychology can be found in the History of psychology article.

Related information can be found in the Timeline of psychiatry article. A more specific review of important events in the development of psychotherapy can be found .

Simon Baron-Cohen — Wikipédia