Chapter

NEURODEVELOPMENTAL MECHANISMS IN CHILDHOOD PSYCHOPATHOLOGY

Noah J. Sasson, Lauren Turner Brown and Joseph Piven

in Cognitive Neuroscience, Development, and Psychopathology

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780195315455
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199979066 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195315455.003.0011
NEURODEVELOPMENTAL MECHANISMS IN CHILDHOOD PSYCHOPATHOLOGY

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Individuals with autism demonstrate marked impairments in the perception, processing, and interpretation of social information. Recent findings suggest that abnormal social orienting may serve as a persistent and developmentally critical mechanism underlying deficits in this domain, and may help differentiate autism from other neurodevelopmental disorders sharing similar social cognitive impairments. This chapter uses social orienting as an example of the significant benefit that can be gained by integrating the fields of cognitive neuroscience and developmental psychopathology through the identification of neuropsychological mechanisms contributing to the development of abnormal brain–behavior relationships. Social orienting may represent a potentially fruitful mechanism for disentangling the pathogenesis of social deficits in autism.

Keywords: autism; social orienting; social cognition; cognitive impairments; brain-behavior relationships; pathogenesis

Chapter.  9479 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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