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Mindblindness: an Essay on Autism and Theory of Mind

by Simon Baron-Cohen The MIT Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 198 pages
AU$74.99 NZ$78.25
Product Status: Available in Approx 14 days
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foreword by Leda Cosmides and John Tooby

'Wow! in this lucid, compelling book Simon Baron-Cohen guides us deep into the realm of the mind....This fascinating book captures the excitment of an emerging field, and advances that field.' --- Henry M. Wellman, University of Michigan

In Mindblindness, Simon Baron-Cohen presents a model of the evolution and development of 'mindreading.' He argues that we mindread all the time, effortlessly, automatically, and mostly unconsciously. It is the natural way in which we interpret, predict, and participate in social behavior and communication. We ascribe mental states to people: states such as thoughts, desires, knowledge, and intentions.

Building on many years of research, Baron-Cohen concludes that children with autism, suffer from 'mindblindness' as a result of a selective impairment in mindreading. For these children, the world is essentially devoid of mental things.

Baron-Cohen develops a theory that draws on data from comparative psychology, from developmental, and from neuropsychology. He argues that specific neurocognitive mechanisms have evolved that allow us to mindread, to make sense of actions, to interpret gazes as meaningful, and to decode 'the language of the eyes.'

A Bradford Book. Learning, Development, and Conceptual Change series
Simon Baron-Cohen, Professor in Developmental Psychopathology and Director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge, is the author of Mindblindness (MIT Press, 1997) and The Essential Difference: The Truth about the Male and Female Mind.