Understanding Impairments in Social Engagement in Autism

Raphael Bernier, Sara Jane Webb and Geraldine Dawson

in The Development of Social Engagement

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195168716
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199847853 | DOI:

Series: Series in Affective Science

Understanding Impairments in Social Engagement in Autism

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This study aims to examine the core early social impairments that affect the social engagement of individuals with autism, i.e. impairments in social orienting, emotion perception, joint attention, affective sharing, and imitation; some contemporary hypotheses on the fundamental deficits that underlie the said impairments; and their neural bases. The observed impairments, new imaging technologies, and existing research paradigms all provide avenues for understanding certain aspects of social engagement in individuals with typical development. Identifying the neural basis of autism enables better understanding of the nature of the impairments. Further work is needed to explore the social motivation hypothesis, despite the many research works into social impairments in autism and the various theories developed to explain the disorder.

Keywords: autism; social engagement; social impairments; behavioural disorders; social motivation

Chapter.  11896 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuropsychology

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