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Social cognitive impairment and autism: What are we trying to explain?

Leekam, Susan R. ORCID: 2016. Social cognitive impairment and autism: What are we trying to explain? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B Biological Sciences 371 (1686) , 20150082. 10.1098/rstb.2015.0082

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Early psychological theories of autism explained the clinical features of this condition in terms of perceptual and sensory processing impairments. The arrival of domain-specific social cognitive theories changed this focus, postulating a ‘primary’ and specific psychological impairment of social cognition. Across the years, evidence has been growing in support of social cognitive and social attention explanations in autism. However, there has also been evidence for general non-social cognitive impairments in representational understanding, attention allocation and sensory processing. Here, I review recent findings and consider the case for the specificity and primacy of the social cognitive impairment, proposing that we should focus more explicitly on clinically valid features for insights on the integration of ‘social’ and ‘non-social’ cognition.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Publisher: The Royal Society
ISSN: 0962-8436
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 18 September 2015
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 01:07

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