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Multiple cognitive capabilities/deficits in children with an autism spectrum disorder: 'Weak' central coherence and its relationship to theory of mind and executive control

Pellicano, E; Maybery, M; Durkin, K; Maley, A; (2006) Multiple cognitive capabilities/deficits in children with an autism spectrum disorder: 'Weak' central coherence and its relationship to theory of mind and executive control. Development and Psychopathology , 18 (1) pp. 77-98. 10.1017/S0954579406060056. Green open access

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Abstract

This study examined the validity of “weak” central coherence (CC) in the context of multiple cognitive capabilities/deficits in autism. Children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and matched typically developing children were administered tasks tapping visuospatial coherence, false-belief understanding and aspects of executive control. Significant group differences were found in all three cognitive domains. Evidence of local processing on coherence tasks was widespread in the ASD group, but difficulties in attributing false beliefs and in components of executive functioning were present in fewer of the children with ASD. This cognitive profile was generally similar for younger and older children with ASD. Furthermore, weak CC was unrelated to false-belief understanding, but aspects of coherence (related to integration) were associated with aspects of executive control. Few associations were found between cognitive variables and indices of autistic symptomatology. Implications for CC theory are discussed.

Type: Article
Title: Multiple cognitive capabilities/deficits in children with an autism spectrum disorder: 'Weak' central coherence and its relationship to theory of mind and executive control
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0954579406060056
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0954579406060056
Language: English
Keywords: Autism, central coherence, theory of mind, executive functioning, autistic symptomatology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1475260
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