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Theory of Mind and Executive Control Deficits in Typically Developing Adults and Adolescents with High Levels of Autism Traits

Gökçen, E; Frederickson, N; Petrides, KV; (2016) Theory of Mind and Executive Control Deficits in Typically Developing Adults and Adolescents with High Levels of Autism Traits. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders , 46 (6) pp. 2072-2087. 10.1007/s10803-016-2735-3. Green open access

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Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterised by profound difficulties in empathic processing and executive control. Whilst the links between these processes have been frequently investigated in populations with autism, few studies have examined them at the subclinical level. In addition, the contribution of alexithymia, a trait characterised by impaired interoceptive awareness and empathy, and elevated in those with ASD, is currently unclear. The present two-part study employed a comprehensive battery of tasks to examine these processes. Findings support the notion that executive function and theory of mind are related abilities. They also suggest that individuals with elevated levels of autism-like traits experience a partially similar pattern of social and executive function difficulties to those diagnosed with ASD, and that these impairments are not explained by co-occurring alexithymia.

Type: Article
Title: Theory of Mind and Executive Control Deficits in Typically Developing Adults and Adolescents with High Levels of Autism Traits
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10803-016-2735-3
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10803-016-2735-3
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​4.​0/​), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Alexithymia, Autism spectrum disorder, Executive control, Subclinical autism traits, Theory of mind
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1489500
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