Mindblindness: An Essay on Autism and Theory of Mind

Paperback | January 22, 1997

bySimon Baron-CohenForeword byLeda Cosmides, John Tooby

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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."

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From Our Editors

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 un- consciously. It is the natural way in which we interpret, predict, and participate in social behavior and communication. Building on many years of r...

From the Publisher

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 ...

From the Jacket

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 un- consciously. It is the natural way in which we interpret, predict, and participate in social behavior and communication. Building on many years of r...

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.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:200 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.5 inPublished:January 22, 1997Publisher:The MIT Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:026252225X

ISBN - 13:9780262522250

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From Our Editors

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 un- consciously. It is the natural way in which we interpret, predict, and participate in social behavior and communication. Building on many years of research, Baron-Cohen concludes that children with autism suffer from 'mindblindness' as a result of a selective impairment in mind reading.

Editorial Reviews

Wow! In this lucid, compelling book Simon Baron-Cohen guides us deep into the realm of the mind. His topic: our everyday ability to attribute mental states--beliefs, desires, emotions, intentions--to each other. Mindreading, he calls it. But his topic is also the intriguing inability of some individuals--especially autistics but also infants and nonhuman animals--to engage in this everyday feat. Mindblindness he calls it. Baron-Cohen convinvingly argues that mindreading of this mundane everyday variety is actually an impressive human ability, one that is specially evolved, specially neurologically supported, and that is rapidly acquired by almost all young humans, save autistics. In these senses it is much like seeing. Baron-Cohen neatly stitches together neuroscience, psychiatry, development, and evolution; he summarizes and integrates his own impressive research, but that of many others as well. This fascinating book captures the excitment of an emerging field, and advances that field.