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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica

Print version ISSN 0102-7972

Abstract

BOSA, Cleonice Alves. The Relationship between Autism, Social Behaviour and Executive Function. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 2001, vol.14, n.2, pp. 281-287. ISSN 0102-7972.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-79722001000200004.

The aim of this paper is to discuss the role of the frontal lobe on the behaviours which characterize the autistic syndrome. The possible relationship between the executive function, theory of mind, and joint attention ability is specially focused. It is concluded that although the investigation of the hypothesis of the executive function underlying the deficts in autism is a promissing area, there are many questions which remain open, such as the causal executive function-social deficit relationship; difficulties regarding the restriction of this deficit to the autism; the need of investigating both the nature and the intensity of the executive function deficits within the subgroups which compound the autistic spectrum area, and the overlap between this theory and the central coherence theory. It is argued that the discussion about the relationship between the executive function and social behaviour will be incomplete if it does not take place within the psychosocial context in which the individuals with autism and their families are inserted.

Keywords : Autism; executive function; frontal lobe; social behaviour.

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