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ERIC Number: EJ941863
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jun
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0261-510X
Ambiguous Figure Perception and Theory of Mind Understanding in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders
Sobel, David M.; Capps, Lisa M.; Gopnik, Alison
British Journal of Developmental Psychology, v23 n2 p159-174 Jun 2005
Researchers in early social-cognition have found that the ability to reverse an ambiguous figure is correlated with success on theory of mind tasks (e.g. Gopnik & Rosati, 2001). The present experiment examined children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) without mental delay to see whether a similar relationship existed. Ropar, Mitchell, and Ackroyd (2003)demonstrated that children with ASD with mental delay were impaired on theory of mind tasks, but were as likely as mentally delayed controls to generate both interpretations of an ambiguous figure when informed of its ambiguity. The present study replicated this finding on children with ASD without mental delay. However, overall perception of ambiguous figures was different. These children were less likely to spontaneously generate both interpretations of the figure, and more likely to perseverate on a single interpretation than the comparison children. Like Ropar et al., we found no correlation between theory of mind and informed reversals, but spontaneous reversals were correlated with performance on an advanced theory of mind task. These data suggest that reversals of ambiguous figures are linked to higher-level representational abilities, which might also be involved in social functioning, and impaired in children with ASD.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A