Autism: Mind and Brain

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Autism: Mind and Brain provides a comprehensive overview of the latest research on autism and highlights new techniques that will progress future understanding. With contributions from leaders in autism research, the book describes the latest advances in research, discusses way forward for future research, and presents powerful new insights into this complex disorder.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Michael Joel Schrift, DO, MA (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: The is an exceptional new book (originally published as an issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Series B, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B (2003) 358, 275-427) on the scientific status of research of a devastating neurodevelopmental disorder, autism. Written and edited by an outstanding array of internationally recognized researchers in the field, this book is an important contribution to the field.
Purpose: The purpose is to bring to the reader "...examples of the cutting edge of research and highlights some of the burning questions." Indeed the editors and authors have produced an extremely interesting and up-to-date account of the current research questions that are being pursued in this field.
Audience: The primary audience, although not specifically stated, includes researchers of neurodevelopmental disorders and clinicians in child psychiatry, developmental psychology, adult psychiatry (these individuals grow up), child neurology, and any mental health practitioner who wants to become aware of the major research ideas in this fascinating field.
Features: The introductory section and chapter 1 are essentially summaries of the book providing an overview of the current research ideas in autistic disorder. Chapter 2 is an interesting retrospective analysis of Hans Asperger's clinical case records. Chapter 3 focuses on putative neurocognitive phenotypes of autistic disorder. Chapter 4 summaries the literature on joint attention as a pivotal skill in autism. Chapter 5 evaluates the hypothesis of impaired involuntary eye gaze in autism. In chapter 6 the authors suggest why congenital blindness may relate to the pathogenesis of autism since the experience of two-way interactions appears critical. Chapter 7 looks at why individuals with high-functioning autism find social situations difficult. Chapter 8 focuses on the high-level cognitive processes of empathizing and systematizing in normals and in autistic individuals. Chapter 9 reviews the literature of a putative neurocognitive defect in autism: weak central coherence. Chapter 10 attempts to "disentangle" two of the putative neurocognitive deficits in autism: weak central coherence and executive dysfunction. Movement disturbances are reviewed in chapter 11 and individual differences in brain abnormalities are explained in chapter 12. Chapter 13 reviews the role of the fusiform face area in the temporal lobe in the pathophysiology of autism. Each chapter ends with useful and relevant citations of the literature. The index section is helpful.
Assessment: This book is an excellent presentation of the recent research literature in this very interesting field. Anyone interested in the brain and mind should read this book.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198529248
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 322
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

University College, London

Goldsmiths College, University of London

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Table of Contents

List of Contributors
1 Understanding autism: insights from mind and brain 1
2 A retrospective analysis of the clinical case records of 'autistic psychopaths' diagnosed by Hans Asperger and his team at the University Children's Hospital, Vienna 21
3 Identifying neurocognitive phenotypes in autism 43
4 Why is joint attention a pivotal skill in autism? 67
5 Does the perception of moving eyes trigger reflexive visual orienting in autism? 89
6 The pathogenesis of autism: insights from congenital blindness 109
7 The enactive mind, or from actions to cognition: lessons from autism 127
8 The systemizing quotient: an investigation of adults with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism, and normal sex differences 161
9 Towards an understanding of the mechanisms of weak central coherence effects: experiments in visual configural learning and auditory perception 187
10 Disentangling weak coherence and executive dysfunction: planning drawing in autism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder 211
11 Autism and movement disturbance 225
12 Investigating individual differences in brain abnormalities in autism 247
13 The role of the fusiform face area in social cognition: implications for the pathobiology of autism 267
Index 295
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