The exact mind: Empathising and systemising in autism spectrum conditions

Cognitive developmentalists have had a long-standing interest in neurodevelopmental conditions, such as autism. This is not only out of a desire to understand the causes of such atypical development, in order to advance medical science and develop interventions. It is also because studying the processes that cause atypicality can sometimes throw light on typical development. It is this two-way influence that characterises the field of developmental psychopathology. In this chapter, we focus on autism. We bring out this interaction between what we now understand about autistic cognition, and how this has helped us understand ‘normality’.
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