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5. Cognitive Theories of Autism
About this Lecture
In this lecture, we consider two major theories of autism as a cognitive disorder and how they can help to explain some of the characteristics associated with the condition, focusing in particular on: (i) the theory of mind hypothesis, which suggests that individuals with autism lack the ability to imagine how others think and feel (i.e., they lack a ‘theory of mind’); (ii) the weak executive function hypothesis, a theory proposing that certain brain functions (e.g. planning, working memory and the inhibition of prepotent responses) are impaired in individuals with autism.
In this course, Professor Peter Mitchell (University of Nottingham) explores the condition of autism. In the first lecture, we think about what autism is. In the second lecture, we examine the causes of autism. In the third lecture, we look at the question ‘Can autism be cured?’. Next, we consider whether autism is an affective or a cognitive condition. In the fifth lecture, we think about different cognitive theories of autism. In the sixth and final lecture, we take a closer look at a specific cognitive theory of autism, known as the theory of ‘weak central coherence’.
Peter Mitchell is Professor and Director of Studies in Psychology at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. Previously, he was head of the School of Psychology on the University of Nottingham’s UK campus. He has published six books and is editor of the British Journal of Psychology. Professor Mitchell has served as Chair of the Developmental Section of the British Psychological Society and as Chief Examiner for the Economic and Social Research Council UK PhD studentship competition. Some of Professor Mitchell’s recent publications include ‘Autism and the double empathy problem: Implications for development and mental health’ (2020) and ‘Do neurotypical people like or dislike autistic people?’ (2021).
Cite this Lecture
Mitchell, P. (2020, February 20). Cognition and Development – Autism - Cognitive Theories of Autism [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/autism/cognitive-theories-of-autism
Mitchell, P. "Cognition and Development – Autism – Cognitive Theories of Autism." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 20 Feb 2020, https://www.massolit.io/courses/autism/cognitive-theories-of-autism