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The Weak Coherence Account: Detail-focused Cognitive Style in Autism Spectrum Disorders

The Weak Coherence Account: Detail-focused Cognitive Style in Autism Spectrum Disorders “Weak central coherence” refers to the detail-focused processing style proposed to characterise autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The original suggestion of a core deficit in central processing resulting in failure to extract global form/meaning, has been challenged in three ways. First, it may represent an outcome of superiority in local processing. Second, it may be a processing bias, rather than deficit. Third, weak coherence may occur alongside, rather than explain, deficits in social cognition. A review of over 50 empirical studies of coherence suggests robust findings of local bias in ASD, with mixed findings regarding weak global processing. Local bias appears not to be a mere side-effect of executive dysfunction, and may be independent of theory of mind deficits. Possible computational and neural models are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders Springer Journals

The Weak Coherence Account: Detail-focused Cognitive Style in Autism Spectrum Disorders

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References (172)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 by Springer
Subject
Psychology; Child and School Psychology; Pediatrics; Neurosciences; Public Health
ISSN
0162-3257
eISSN
1573-3432
DOI
10.1007/s10803-005-0039-0
pmid
16450045
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

“Weak central coherence” refers to the detail-focused processing style proposed to characterise autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The original suggestion of a core deficit in central processing resulting in failure to extract global form/meaning, has been challenged in three ways. First, it may represent an outcome of superiority in local processing. Second, it may be a processing bias, rather than deficit. Third, weak coherence may occur alongside, rather than explain, deficits in social cognition. A review of over 50 empirical studies of coherence suggests robust findings of local bias in ASD, with mixed findings regarding weak global processing. Local bias appears not to be a mere side-effect of executive dysfunction, and may be independent of theory of mind deficits. Possible computational and neural models are discussed.

Journal

Journal of Autism and Developmental DisordersSpringer Journals

Published: Feb 1, 2006

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