Assessing false-belief understanding in children with autism using a computer application: a pilot study

Carlsson, E., Miniscalco, C., Gillberg, C. and Åsberg Johnels, J. (2018) Assessing false-belief understanding in children with autism using a computer application: a pilot study. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 47(5), pp. 1085-1099. (doi: 10.1007/s10936-018-9579-2) (PMID:29582220) (PMCID:PMC6153757)

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We have developed a False-Belief (FB) understanding task for use on a computer tablet, trying to assess FB understanding in a less social way. It is based on classical FB protocols, and additionally includes a manipulation of language in an attempt to explore the facilitating effect of linguistic support during FB processing. Specifically, the FB task was presented in three auditory conditions: narrative, silent, and interference. The task was assumed to shed new light on the FB difficulties often observed in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Sixty-eight children with ASD (M = 7.5 years) and an age matched comparison group with 98 typically developing (TD) children were assessed with the FB task. The children with ASD did not perform above chance level in any condition, and significant differences in success rates were found between the groups in two conditions (silent and narrative), with TD children performing better. We discuss implications, limitations, and further developments.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. The study was performed with support from the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, Project no. 2013-00092 and by Majblommans Riksförbund and the Wilhelm och Martina Lundgrens Science Foundation.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gillberg, Professor Christopher
Authors: Carlsson, E., Miniscalco, C., Gillberg, C., and Åsberg Johnels, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Journal of Psycholinguistic Research
Publisher:Springer Verlag
ISSN (Online):1573-6555
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 47:1085-1099
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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