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The Innate MindStructure and Contents$
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Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence, and Stephen Stich

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195179675

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179675.001.0001

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What Neurodevelopmental Disorders Can Reveal about Cognitive Architecture

What Neurodevelopmental Disorders Can Reveal about Cognitive Architecture

The Example of Theory of Mind*

(p.272) 16 What Neurodevelopmental Disorders Can Reveal about Cognitive Architecture
The Innate Mind

Helen Tager‐Flusberg

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with an overview of the controversy surrounding the study of children and adults with neurodevelopmental disorders, and how these inform theories of neurocognitive architecture. It weighs the arguments for and against what we might learn from studying individuals who have fundamental biological impairments. It then discusses the example of research on theory of mind in two different disorders — autism and Williams syndrome (WMS) — which has highlighted a number of important aspects of how this core cognitive capacity develops in both normal and atypical populations.

Keywords:   neurodevelopment, developmental disorders, neurocognitive architecture, autism, Williams syndrome, theory of mind

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