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Exploring the cognitive foundations of the Shared Attention Mechanism
Skorich, D. P., Gash, T. B., Stalker, K. L., Zheng, Lidan & Haslam, S. A
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

The social difficulties of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are typically explained as a disruption in the Shared Attention Mechanism (SAM) sub-component of the theory of mind (ToM) system. In the current paper, we explore the hypothesis that SAM’s capacity to construct the self-other-object relations necessary for shared-attention arises from a self-categorization process, which is weaker among those with more autistic-like traits. We present participants with self-categorization and shared-attention tasks, and measure their autism-spectrum quotient (AQ). Results reveal a negative relationship between AQ and shared-attention, via self-categorization, suggesting a role for self-categorization in the disruption in SAM seen in ASD. Implications for intervention, and for a ToM model in which weak central coherence plays a role are discussed.

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Created: Tuesday, 14th February 2017 by uqpjack1
Modified: Tuesday, 14th February 2017 by uqpjack1
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