Session 2: Cognitive and Social Phenotypes in Autism
Helen Tager-Flusberg, Ph.D.
Boston University School of Medicine
Autism involves primary impairments in social interaction and social functioning. Recent theoretical and empirical work have led to significant advances in our understanding of the cognitive and neural bases of the capacities that underlie these human behaviors. It has been proposed that the neuro-cognitive system central to a child's socialization is one that is devoted to interpreting our own and others' behavior in terms of agency and intentional or mental states - referred to as a theory of mind. This presentation will focus on a componential model of theory of mind, and will review research on the evolutionary significance and neurobiological substrate for this uniquely human capacity in both normal and autistic individuals.
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