Performance of children and adolescents with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism on advanced theory of mind tasks

J Autism Dev Disord. 2008 Jul;38(6):1112-23. doi: 10.1007/s10803-007-0496-8. Epub 2007 Dec 6.


Although a number of advanced theory of mind tasks have been developed, there is a dearth of information on whether performances on different tasks are associated. The present study examined the performance of 21 children and adolescents with diagnoses of Asperger syndrome (AS) and 20 typically developing controls on three advanced theory of mind tasks: The Eyes Task, the Strange Stories, and the Stories from Everyday Life. The participants in the clinical group demonstrated lower performance than the controls on all the three tasks. The pattern of findings, however, indicates that these tasks may share different information-processing requirements in addition to tapping different mentalizing abilities.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asperger Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Asperger Syndrome / psychology
  • Attention
  • Autistic Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology
  • Child
  • Concept Formation
  • Emotions
  • Facial Expression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence*
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual
  • Personal Construct Theory*
  • Reading
  • Semantics