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J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1992 Sep;33(6):1105-12.

Understanding drawings and beliefs: a further test of the metarepresentation theory of autism: a research note.

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Department of Psychology, University College London, U.K.


Leslie (1987, Psychological Review, 94, 412-426) proposed that the "theory of mind" deficit in autism was the result of a metarepresentation impairment. Studies employing False Photograph or Belief tests have shown that in autism the deficit is restricted to representing mental representations, and does not extend to representing pictorial representations. In this study, we tested this claim further using a False Drawing test. Subjects with autism performed at the same level as mentally handicapped or normal 4-year-old subjects on the False Drawing test, but significantly worse on the False Belief test. This confirmed the specificity of the deficit in autism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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