Any defects of sociality in individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are standardly explained in terms of those individuals’ putative impairments in a variety of cognitive functions. Recently, however, the need for a bidirectional approach to social interaction has been emphasized. Such an approach highlights differences in basic ways of acting between ASD and neurotypical individuals which would prevent them from understanding each other. Here we pursue this approach by focusing on basic action features reflecting the agent’s mood and affective states. These are action features Stern named “vitality forms,” and which are widely assumed to substantiate core social interactions [D. N. Stern, The Interpersonal World of the Infant (1985); D. N. Stern, Forms of Vitality Exploring Dynamic Experience in Psychology, Arts, Psychotherapy, and Development (2010)]. Previously we demonstrated that, although ASD and typically developing (TD) children alike differentiate vitality forms when performing actions, ASD children express them in a way that is motorically dissimilar to TD children. To assess whether this motor dissimilarity may have consequences for vitality form recognition, we asked neurotypical participants to identify the vitality form of different types of action performed by ASD or TD children. We found that participants exhibited remarkable inaccuracy in identifying ASD children’s vitality forms. Interestingly, their performance did not benefit from information feedback. This indicates that how people act matters for understanding others and for being understood by them. Because vitality forms pervade every aspect of daily life, our findings promise to open the way to a deeper comprehension of the bidirectional difficulties for both ASD and neurotypical individuals in interacting with one another.

Neurotypical individuals fail to understand action vitality form in children with autism spectrum disorder / L. Casartelli, A. Federici, L. Fumagalli, A. Cesareo, M. Nicoli, L. Ronconi, A. Vitale, M. Molteni, G. Rizzolatti, C. Sinigaglia. - In: PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. - ISSN 0027-8424. - 117:44(2020), pp. 27712-27718. [10.1073/pnas.2011311117]

Neurotypical individuals fail to understand action vitality form in children with autism spectrum disorder

C. Sinigaglia
2020

Abstract

Any defects of sociality in individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are standardly explained in terms of those individuals’ putative impairments in a variety of cognitive functions. Recently, however, the need for a bidirectional approach to social interaction has been emphasized. Such an approach highlights differences in basic ways of acting between ASD and neurotypical individuals which would prevent them from understanding each other. Here we pursue this approach by focusing on basic action features reflecting the agent’s mood and affective states. These are action features Stern named “vitality forms,” and which are widely assumed to substantiate core social interactions [D. N. Stern, The Interpersonal World of the Infant (1985); D. N. Stern, Forms of Vitality Exploring Dynamic Experience in Psychology, Arts, Psychotherapy, and Development (2010)]. Previously we demonstrated that, although ASD and typically developing (TD) children alike differentiate vitality forms when performing actions, ASD children express them in a way that is motorically dissimilar to TD children. To assess whether this motor dissimilarity may have consequences for vitality form recognition, we asked neurotypical participants to identify the vitality form of different types of action performed by ASD or TD children. We found that participants exhibited remarkable inaccuracy in identifying ASD children’s vitality forms. Interestingly, their performance did not benefit from information feedback. This indicates that how people act matters for understanding others and for being understood by them. Because vitality forms pervade every aspect of daily life, our findings promise to open the way to a deeper comprehension of the bidirectional difficulties for both ASD and neurotypical individuals in interacting with one another.
Autism; Motor cognition; Vitality form; Adult; Autism Spectrum Disorder; Child; Female; Healthy Volunteers; Humans; Male; Young Adult; Comprehension; Recognition, Psychology; Social Interaction
Settore BIO/09 - Fisiologia
   Dipartimenti di Eccellenza 2018-2022 - Dipartimento di FILOSOFIA
   MINISTERO DELL'ISTRUZIONE E DEL MERITO
2020
Article (author)
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Casartelli et al PNAS.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Publisher's version/PDF
Dimensione 669.02 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
669.02 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
27712.full.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Publisher's version/PDF
Dimensione 669.12 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
669.12 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/805968
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 5
  • Scopus 13
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 10
social impact