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In this study, we describe a new form of synaesthesia in which visual perception of touch elicits conscious tactile experiences in the perceiver. We describe a female subject (C) for whom the observation of another person being touched is experienced as tactile stimulation on the equivalent part of C's own body. Apart from this clearly abnormal synesthetic(More)
We investigated whether individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) would show attentional modulation for social (face) and non-social (house) stimuli. Sixteen individuals with ASD and 16 matched control participants completed a task in which pairs of face and house stimuli were present on every trial, with one of the pairs randomly assigned to(More)
The temporoparietal junction (TPJ) is a key node within the "social brain". Several studies suggest that the TPJ controls representations of the self or another individual across a variety of low-level (agency discrimination, visual perspective taking, control of imitation) and high-level (mentalizing, empathy) sociocognitive processes. We explored whether(More)
Autism is associated with an inability to identify and distinguish one's own feelings. We assessed this inability using alexithymia and empathy questionnaires, and used fMRI to investigate brain activity while introspecting on emotion. Individuals with high functioning autism/Asperger syndrome (HFA/AS) were compared with matched controls. Participants rated(More)
Theory of Mind (ToM) is the ability to attribute thoughts, intentions and beliefs to others. This involves component processes, including cognitive perspective taking (cognitive ToM) and understanding emotions (affective ToM). This study assessed the distinction and overlap of neural processes involved in these respective components, and also investigated(More)
BACKGROUND Anecdotal evidence has noted that individuals with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) frequently exhibit heightened spontaneous imitative behavior, with symptoms of echolalia and echopraxia. This is contrasted by empiric reports that ASC results in decreased imitation and an underlying deficit in the mirror system, leading to impaired social(More)
Appropriate modulation of imitation according to social context is important for successful social interaction. In the present study we subliminally primed high-functioning adults with ASC and age- and IQ-matched controls with either a pro- or non- social attitude. Following priming, an automatic imitation paradigm was used to acquire an index of imitation.(More)
Difficulties in social cognition are well recognized in individuals with autism spectrum conditions (henceforth 'autism'). Here we focus on one crucial aspect of social cognition: the ability to empathize with the feelings of another. In contrast to theory of mind, a capacity that has often been observed to be impaired in individuals with autism, much less(More)
Recent behavioural and neuroimaging studies have found that observation of human movement, but not of robotic movement, gives rise to visuomotor priming. This implies that the 'mirror neuron' or 'action observation-execution matching' system in the premotor and parietal cortices is entirely unresponsive to robotic movement. The present study investigated(More)
In this study, we tested the validity of 2 popular assumptions about empathy: (a) empathy can be enhanced by oxytocin, a neuropeptide known to be crucial in affiliative behavior, and (b) individual differences in prosocial behavior are positively associated with empathic brain responses. To do so, we measured brain activity in a double-blind(More)