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Autism Res Treat. 2012;2012:505393. doi: 10.1155/2012/505393. Epub 2012 Apr 5.

Unique theory of mind differentiation in children with autism and asperger syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Education, Dartmouth College, 6103 Raven House, Hanover, NH 03755, USA.


This study was designed to determine if ToM abilities of children with autism and Asperger syndrome differentiate into Intrapersonal ToM and Social ToM. A battery of Social and Intrapersonal ToM tasks was administered to 39 children with autism and 34 children with Asperger syndrome. For both groups of children, ToM differentiated and Intrapersonal ToM was stronger than Social ToM. This asymmetry was greater for children with autism, whose Social ToM was especially weak. These results support a differentiated, as opposed to integrated, ToM. Moreover, the findings provide a more thorough understanding of the cognitive abilities associated with autism and Asperger syndrome.

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