Theory of mind abilities in individuals with autism, Down syndrome, and mental retardation of unknown etiology: The role of age and intelligence

Nurit Yirmiya*, Daphna Solomonica-Levi, Cory Shulman, Tammy Pilowsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined theory of mind abilities of individuals with autism, mental retardation (MR) of unknown etiology, Down syndrome, and normal children. On false belief and deception tasks, normal children performed better than all clinical groups, while no differences emerged among the clinical groups. The groups with MR performed better than the group with autism on the value task only. For individuals with autism, theory of mind abilities correlated with verbal ability. For individuals with MR nonverbal abilities correlated with deception and false belief scores. Findings are discussed in terms of the specificity of the theory of mind deficit to autism. Copyright (C) 1996 Association for Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1003-1014
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Volume37
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1996

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Cognition
  • Down syndrome
  • Theory of mind

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