Article: article from journal or magazin.
'Theory of mind' in the brain. Evidence from a PET scan study of Asperger syndrome.
Publication types: Clinical Trial ; Journal Article ; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov'tPublication Status: ppublish
The ability to attribute mental states to others ('theory of mind') pervades normal social interaction and is impaired in autistic individuals. In a previous positron emission tomography scan study of normal volunteers, performing a 'theory of mind' task was associated with activity in left medial prefrontal cortex. We used the same paradigm in five patients with Asperger syndrome, a mild variant of autism with normal intellectual functioning. No task-related activity was found in this region, but normal activity was observed in immediately adjacent areas. This result suggests that a highly circumscribed region of left medial prefrontal cortex is a crucial component of the brain system that underlies the normal understanding of other minds.
Adult, Autistic Disorder/physiopathology, Autistic Disorder/psychology, Brain/physiopathology, Cerebrovascular Circulation/physiology, Humans, Male, Prefrontal Cortex/blood supply, Prefrontal Cortex/physiopathology, Social Perception, Syndrome, Tomography, Emission-Computed
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