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Case Study - Baron Cohen Info: Simon Baron-Cohen is a professor of developmental psychopathology in the departments of psychiatry and experimental psychology, a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge, in the United Kingdom.[1] He is best known for his work on autism, including his early theory that autism involves degrees of 'mindblindness' (or delays in the development of theory of mind), and his later theory that autism is an extreme form of the 'male brain', which involved a reconceptualization of typical psychological sex differences in terms of empathy and systemizing. Baron-Cohen published "Does the autistic child have a 'theory of mind'?" in 1985 with autism researchers Uta Frith and Alan Leslie.[2] It proposed that children with autism show social and communication difficulties as a result of a delay in the development of a theory of mind. In his 1995 book Mindblindness (MIT Press), he suggested that an individual's theory of mind depends on a set of brain mechanisms that develop in early childhood, including the eye direction detector (EDD), the shared attention mechanism (SAM), and the intentionality detector (ID). ...read more.


He is testing if autism is associated with elevated FT. In addition to basic research into the biomedical causes of autism, Baron-Cohen and his colleagues have produced practical tools for people with autism, including Mind Reading: An Interactive Guide to Human Emotions,[4] which is educational software for helping to improve emotion-recognition skills. More recently, he created The Transporters,[5] a children's animation series. The series superimposed real human faces showing emotions onto animated vehicles, as a way of harnessing the strong interest in systems (vehicles being an example of a system) that even preschoolers with autism show, to help make faces and emotional expressions more autism-friendly and predictable. Baron-Cohen has also done research on synesthesia, a neurological disorder involving the "crossing" of sensory wiring in the mind. Aim: The Aim of this experiment was to see if high functioning individuals with autism/AS do process a theory of mind. This experiment was devised because Baron-Cohen wanted to see a difference between adults and children with autistic spectrum disorders. Method: Group 1: Participants with autism/AS normal intelligence, 13 males and 3 females. ...read more.


However this can be countered. * The target words are mental state terms. * The terms are not just referring emotions but refer to mental states. * The pattern of performance on the Eyes task was mirrored in the pattern of performance of strange stories task, providing current validity. * The performance on the eyes task was not mirrored in the performance on the two control tasks, suggesting that poor performance was not due to using eyes as stimuli, or to difficulties extracting social information from minimal cues, or to subtle perceptual deficits or to lack of basic information recognition. Finally it should be noted that some of the autism/AS group hold university degrees which suggests that this aspect of social ability is independent of general intelligence. Evaluation: This experiment carried many strengths and weaknesses. The method was experimental and was laboratory conducted therefore made it considerably easy to control the variables as it was also a quasi experiment which is an advantage of studying natural occurring conditions. However, this could have had a knock on effect on the experiment and created eco validity in some areas as the factors could be controlled a bit too much. ?? ?? ?? ?? Psychology ...read more.

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