Introducing MASC: a movie for the assessment of social cognition

J Autism Dev Disord. 2006 Jul;36(5):623-36. doi: 10.1007/s10803-006-0107-0.


In the present study we introduce a sensitive video-based test for the evaluation of subtle mindreading difficulties: the Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition (MASC). This new mindreading tool involves watching a short film and answering questions referring to the actors' mental states. A group of adults with Asperger syndrome (n = 19) and well-matched control subjects (n = 20) were administered the MASC and three other mindreading tools as part of a broader neuropsychological testing session. Compared to control subjects, Asperger individuals exhibited marked and selective difficulties in social cognition. A Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis for the mindreading tests identified the MASC as discriminating the diagnostic groups most accurately. Issues pertaining to the multidimensionality of the social cognition construct are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Asperger Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Asperger Syndrome / psychology*
  • Attention
  • Cognition*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychological Tests*
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Social Behavior*
  • Videotape Recording
  • Wechsler Scales