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Understanding Other MindsPerspectives from developmental social neuroscience$
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Simon Baron-Cohen, Michael Lombardo, and Helen Tager-Flusberg

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199692972

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692972.001.0001

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Self and others

(p.397) Chapter 22 Autism
Understanding Other Minds

Peter R. Hobson

Jessica A. Hobson

Oxford University Press

In this chapter on Autism: Self and others, we consider how some, but only some, components of self-other relations and self-experience are affected in children who present with the syndrome of autism. We draw upon clinical accounts as well as experimental studies on the psychology of autism, to illustrate that it is specifically in relation to the children’s connectedness with, yet differentiation from, other persons that difficulties arise. We trace how signs of the children’s relative impairment in identifying with the attitudes of others appear in a variety of domains such as relational self/other awareness, self-conscious emotions, imitation, interpersonal understanding (including ‘theory of mind’) and role-taking in language. We also consider neuroscientific research perspectives. At root, autism involves disruption in a system of intersubjective engagement that implicates mutual relations which ground joint reference to a shared world.

Keywords:   Autism, self, self-conscious emotions, intersubjectivity, role-taking, identification

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