Document Detail

Goals, intentions and mental states: challenges for theories of autism.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19508497     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The ability to understand the goals and intentions behind other people's actions is central to many social interactions. Given the profound social difficulties seen in autism, we might expect goal understanding to be impaired in these individuals. Two influential theories, the 'broken mirror' theory and the mentalising theory, can both predict this result. However, a review of the current data provides little empirical support for goal understanding difficulties; several studies demonstrate normal performance by autistic children on tasks requiring the understanding of goals or intentions. I suggest that this conclusion forces us to reject the basic broken mirror theory and to re-evaluate the breadth of the mentalising theory. More subtle theories which distinguish between different types of mirroring and different types of mentalising may be able to account for the present data, and further research is required to test and refine these theories.
Antonia F de C Hamilton
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review     Date:  2009-06-05
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines     Volume:  50     ISSN:  1469-7610     ISO Abbreviation:  J Child Psychol Psychiatry     Publication Date:  2009 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-08-07     Completed Date:  2009-10-20     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375361     Medline TA:  J Child Psychol Psychiatry     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  881-92     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Autistic Disorder / diagnosis*,  physiopathology,  psychology
Brain / physiopathology
Comprehension / physiology
Emotions / physiology
Imitative Behavior / physiology
Interpersonal Relations*
Neurons / physiology
Personal Construct Theory*
Psychological Theory

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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