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Relationships between implicit and explicit uncertainty monitoring and mindreading: Evidence from autism spectrum disorder

Nicholson, T., Williams, D. M., Grainger, C., Lind, S. E. ORCID: 0000-0002-6165-9832 and Carruthers, P. (2019). Relationships between implicit and explicit uncertainty monitoring and mindreading: Evidence from autism spectrum disorder. Consciousness and Cognition, 70, pp. 11-24. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2019.01.013

Abstract

We examined performance on implicit (non-verbal) and explicit (verbal) uncertaintymonitoring tasks among neurotypical participants and participants with autism, while also testing mindreading abilities in both groups. We found that: (i) performance of autistic participants was unimpaired on the implicit uncertainty-monitoring task, while being significantly impaired on the explicit task; (ii) performance on the explicit task was correlated with performance on mindreading tasks in both groups, whereas performance on the implicit uncertainty-monitoring task was not; and (iii) performance on implicit and explicit uncertainty-monitoring tasks was not correlated. The results support the view that (a) explicit uncertainty-monitoring draws on the same cognitive faculty as mindreading whereas (b) implicit uncertainty-monitoring only test first-order decision making. These findings support the theory that metacognition and mindreading are underpinned by the same meta-representational faculty/resources, and that the implicit uncertainty-monitoring tasks that are frequently used with nonhuman animals fail to demonstrate the presence of metacognitive abilities.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: autism spectrum disorder; metacognition; mindreading; uncertainty judgment; uncertainty monitoring
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/21314
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