Reading the mind in the face and voice in parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Maryam Tajmirriyahi, Vahid Nejati, Hamidreza Pouretemad, Rouhollah Mansuri Sepehr
Department of Educational Psychology, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran
One core feature of Autism Spectrum Disorders(ASD) is impairment in social functioning and inferring mental states and emotions referred to theory of mind(TOM). The‘‘Broad Autism Phenotype’’(BAP) proposes that deﬁning features of autism express in milder form among ﬁrst degree relatives of these patients. Theory of mind deﬁcits has been examined using advanced TOM tasks such as ‘‘Reading the Mind in the Eyes’’. This study has furthered previous ﬁndings using another test designed to tap higher TOM abilities named ‘‘Mind Reading in the Voice’’. The objective of this study is to examine theory of mind abilities from two main communicative sources in parents of children with ASD in contrast to two groups, one clinical and one non-clinical. Forty-eight parents of individuals with autism, 31 parents of individuals with Downsyndrome and 30 parents of typically developed children were administered two tests of mind-reading.Analysis revealed that although there is not a signiﬁcant difference between three groups’performance in ‘‘Mind Reading from Eyes’’, parents of children with ASD have signiﬁcantly lower performance in ‘‘Mind Reading from Voice’’. It can be concluded that TOM deﬁcits in parents of children with ASD are not restricted to inferring mental states form eyes and deﬁcits in mind-reading from voice could also be a part of BAP.
In “Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders”, 2013